Hamilton – 2014 will be “tough for everyone”
However the Brit – who won the last race in Hungary – is hopeful and confident that Mercedes will provide a competitive engine and that the team will be even more competitive in 2014.
The team has so far had a difficult season due to the issues with the Pirelli tyres – which Hamilton knows will be an issue in 2014. The W04 has performed strongly on Saturday with Rosberg and Hamilton behind the wheel but more often than not they have slipped back during the race due to higher wear rates.
Hamilton’s win in Hungary could prove to be the turning point and the 2008 world champion is fully focused on this year, barely thinking about 2014. He is quoted by ESPN saying: “I’m not really thinking about it too much at the moment, but I feel very comfortable that Mercedes HPP [High Performance Powertrains] will do an incredible job with the engine. I am certain we will have a very strong engine next year.”
He added: “But it’s going to be tough for everyone. The new regulations mean that you have to do a further distance [on fuel] and reliability and everything will become a player.
“I’m excited about it. Tyres will undoubtedly be an issue because they always will be, but I’m comfortable with the team and where they have got to now in their understanding of improvements in the wind tunnel and understanding the development process through a season. I’m really confident that next year we will be in a competitive position.”
In contrast, team-mate Nico Rosberg is slowly easing himself into the teams development of the 2014 car and looking to next season. He feels it is important in order for the team to gain his input: “Slowly but surely I’m thinking about next year. You have to as a driver because it’s important and I want to give my input. There will come a point where you can’t change things because they are done, and I like to get involved and get a head start. We are looking into it, it’s a gradual process and more and more I am looking into it as the year goes on.”
The German finds the change in regulations fascinating due to the uncertainty: “It’s very interesting, there are so many massive changes and you don’t know where the main performance advantages are going to come from. Is it going to be the engine? Or is it more car? We will have to wait and see.”
Mercedes currently sit third in the constructors standings, with Hamilton and Roberg occupying fourth and sixth in the drivers standings.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.