Lewis Hamilton pain eased as Toto Wolff hints at Mercedes upturn with Miami ‘experiments’

Hamilton 'excited and nervous' for first ever F1 race in Miami

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Lewis Hamilton could have his pain eased at the Miami Grand Prix after Toto Wolff hinted at an upturn in fortunes and revealed his Mercedes team would be conducting experiments at the race. Hamilton has endured a miserable start to the new F1 season and is a lowly seventh in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

“We have found several directions for improving the car,” Wolff said ahead of the fifth Grand Prix of the season. “And we will be conducting experiments in Miami to correlate those simulations and hopefully confirm the development path for the coming races.”

Mercedes dominated F1 for the best part of a decade as the team won eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships between 2014 and 2021. And Hamilton won six individual titles during that period.

But, ahead of the new season, teams were forced to redesign their cars amid a whole host of regulation changes that were introduced to make overtaking easier. Mercedes have struggled to find a winning formula in the opening races and have been unable to solve their porpoising issues. And they’ve been left in the shadows of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Two weeks ago at the Imola Grand Prix, Hamilton could only muster a 13th-place finish, while his Silver Arrows team-mate George Russell claimed fourth spot. And that left Mercedes 47 points behind leaders Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship standings. But Wolff insists his team have learnt lessons from that race.

“It was a very difficult weekend for us in Imola,” Wolff admitted. “George did a great job to finish P4 from an unpromising starting position but with Lewis, we didn’t give him the tools or track position to show his true pace. Since we returned from Italy, we’ve learned as much from the weekend as we can and, in parallel, our learning has continued in the wind tunnel and simulations.

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“Both drivers have been working in the simulator ahead of Miami and the factories have been busy producing updates for the next races. The saying ‘smooth seas do not make good sailors’ comes to mind. This team has shown its resilience over many years and the difficult start to this season has lit a fire within every team member, determined to put it right.”

The first two practice sessions ahead of the Miami Grand Prix take place on Friday, with a third practice session and qualifying scheduled for Saturday. And the race is set to get underway at 8.30pm BST on Sunday evening.

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