F1 Bahrain Pre-season Test: Lewis Hamilton Optimistic After Driving the Mercedes W15

Mercedes' new Formula 1 car has received another positive review from Lewis Hamilton, who has called it a "clear improvement" and a "much nicer to drive" compared to its predecessor W14.

By Divyam Dubey | on February 23, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

Unlike in 2021, Lewis Hamilton showed a very optimistic attitude throughout the Bahrain testing, which is a change from the typical pre-season scenario. Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, took the wheel of the W15 on day 2 of Baharain pre-season and gave optimistic early feedback following George Russell's Day 1 run. As he finished his first laps in the W15, it was a significant occasion. Before leaving for Ferrari at the end of the 2024 season, Hamilton took the time to recognise and praise the team for the significant changes made over the winter. This encouraging evaluation sets a hopeful tone for the forthcoming season and further demonstrates the team's commitment to growth.

"It was a productive day out there," Lewis said. "We gathered lots of learnings about the W15, both in our long-running and single-lap work. We've clearly made an improvement with this year's car and it's much nicer to drive. A big thank you to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth for the efforts they've put in to deliver that over the past year. I'm really grateful for all their hard work. We've still got progress to make of course. But this is a good foundation for us to build on. We'll keep our heads down and continue to work to find improvements, both over the rest of the test and into next week. I'm looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow morning and continuing that learning."

His teammate George Russell, who had the opportunity to drive the new W15 during the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, also commented positively on the car's improved driveability compared to its predecessor.

F1 Bahrain Pre-season Test Day 2: Mercedes

F1 Mercedes W15 1 1

During the second day of testing, Lewis Hamilton got behind the wheel of the Mercedes W15, participating in a full session that included morning aero runs to gather important data. As the session moved into the afternoon, the German started focusing on race simulations and evaluations over a lap. As part of his remarkable performance, Hamilton set a new best for the C3 tyre run, finishing in third place with a time of 1:31.066.

On the other hand, George Russell recorded a pace of 1:34.109 on the first day, prioritising longer runs and harder tyres. He ended up in 12th place. On the first day, the squad focused on endurance and tyre durability by completing 121 laps.

It was clear early last year that the crew was going to completely revamp the design for 2024. The W15 showed a lot of changes. The crew took a more traditional approach, ditching the 'zero' sidepods of earlier iterations. Notably, the front wing deviates from the usual requirement of four elements by taking a unique approach, with a small highest part and expanded lower planes.

Mercedes made a major change at the back, switching from a pull-rod to a push-rod suspension, in addition to minor tweaks here and there. The modification raises the suspension components higher in the chassis, which makes it harder to keep the centre of gravity low. However, it frees up area for aerodynamic exploration, especially when it comes to using the floor tunnel to its full potential. All of these details show that Mercedes is serious about improving performance and introducing new innovations for the next season.

Tags: F1 Bahrain Pre-season Test Lewis Hamilton Mercedes

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