Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes team didn’t listen to him when developing his 2023 Formula 1 car.
The Briton told reporters last week that Mercedes were on the wrong track before finishing fifth in the Bahrain Grand Prix opener on Sunday.
“Last year there were things I said to them. I said the problems with the car,” Hamilton said on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Checkered Flag podcast.
“I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs. I know what a car doesn’t need. I think it’s really about accountability.
“It’s about admitting and saying, ‘Yeah, you know what? We didn’t listen to you. It’s not where it needs to be and we have to work,'” he said.
“We have to look at the balance through the corners, look at any weak points and just huddle together as a team. We do that.”
Hamilton, 38, is the most successful Formula One driver of all time with a record 103 wins but is out of contract at the end of the season.
He didn’t win a race last year, the first of his career in a season, but he has dismissed suggestions he might hold off on a new deal until he knew how competitive his car was.
He told the BBC that Mercedes, whose streak of eight consecutive constructors’ titles ended last year, still has time to reverse the situation.
“We’re still multiple world champions, you know? It’s just that we didn’t do it right this time. We didn’t do it right last year. ” he said.
Team boss Toto Wolff admitted in Bahrain that Mercedes had to rethink the car.
“I don’t think this package will end up being competitive,” said Wolff of a car that features slimmed-down sidepods in stark contrast to Red Bull’s solution.
“We got it wrong last year; we thought we could fix it by sticking with this concept of the car and it didn’t work,” he added.
Red Bull’s two-time world champion Max Verstappen won in Bahrain, Sergio Perez secured the double victory. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso finished third in a Mercedes-powered car.
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