Lewis Hamilton says he is “so excited” to finally try out Mercedes’ long-awaited F1 upgrades after admitting the team “were a little bit lost” in how to solve their issues.
Mercedes have finally abandoned their ‘zeropod’ philosophy in favour of a new and more conventional sidepod design, which forms part of a hotly-anticipated upgrade package that will debut at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The team originally planned to introduce the revised W14 challenger at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola last weekend, but the race was cancelled due to deadly flooding in the region.
Hamilton, who admitted he has been “counting the days” until the upgrades arrive, hopes they will enable Mercedes to cut their vast performance deficit to pace-setters Red Bull.
“The upgrade, it will be difficult to see how it works at this kind of track but I’m hopeful that it puts us a little bit closer to these guys,” the seven-time world champion said on Thursday.
“I don’t think we will be fighting for a win necessarily, but hopefully we will be more in the fight.”
Hamilton praised the hard work of his team behind the scenes to produce the upgrades after Mercedes U-turned on their controversial decision to keep the faith in their unique sidepod approach over the winter.
“There’s a lot of people on the team that have had all the success that we’ve had in the past and there’s a lot of people that haven’t had that success yet and are super hungry,” Hamilton said.
“I’m really encouraged when I do go back to the factory and see just how hard everyone is working. Last year we were a little bit lost in terms of how to fix the issue that we had.
“I feel like the team now have the north star, they know exactly where we need to go and how to get there. The amount of work that has gone in is incredible and I’m very, very grateful.
“I’ve been so excited to get in the car and feel these changes. I feel that hopefully puts us on the right path to progress forward and try and catch the guys ahead.”
Keyword: Lewis Hamilton ‘excited’ to try Mercedes F1 upgrades at Monaco GP after being “lost” in 2022