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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton teases 'things to try' for Mercedes in Saudi

Lewis Hamilton has explained how his team will be trying out a few different ideas on track this weekend, as Mercedes attempt to get on top of their porpoising issues.

Hamilton Bahrain
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To news overview © Michael Potts / RacingNews365

Lewis Hamilton has said that this weekend's race in Saudi Arabia could see the Mercedes team experiment with the set-up on the W13, in a bid to reduce the extent of their porpoising.

With Mercedes being one of the worst-affected teams in terms of their car bouncing down the straights, the Jeddah Corniche Circuit could pose a huge challenge for the outfit – the Saudi track being one of the fastest tracks on the F1 calendar.

As a result, Hamilton explained that Mercedes are attempting to work diligently through ideas to figure out how best to reduce the issues.

"A huge amount of work has gone on in the past three days," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com, as the weekend began in Jeddah.

"[I'm] very proud of my team for just keeping their heads down, staying focused and churning through the crazy amounts of data that there is every time we're out in the car."

Mercedes have "things to try" while on track

Mercedes salvaged third- and fourth-place finishes in Bahrain, capitalising on Red Bull's double retirement in the closing stages, but the W13 proved largely uncompetitive through the opening weekend.

While the reigning Constructors' World Champions have some potential solutions to try and validate on track, Hamilton believes there are no miracle cures just yet.

"[We're] just trying to understand what the issues we have - we are aware of the problems we have - but, in terms of what's causing it, we're just working through and trying to figure that out, and how we can rectify it without losing performance, and ultimately gain performance," he explained.

"But... [in] three days, [that's] such a short time between races – there's not a huge difference here this weekend. But, hopefully, we'll have some things to try and, from a driver's perspective, that's exciting, when you get into the car and just try something new, and hope that it unlocks a bit of performance.

"But the others are still very strong and, as I said last week, it was great to see Ferrari back up there after a couple of difficult years."

How much performance have Mercedes lost?

Asked by RacingNews365.com to try and quantify just how much performance Mercedes are losing due to the porpoising phenomenon on their car, Hamilton said it's not an insignificant figure.

"I've not been given exact numbers, but I know they're large," he commented.

"But I think it's the same for everyone – those that have had to raise their car. It's much steeper steps than we've seen compared to previous years and there's lots of performance when you can reduce some of those steps – obviously lowering the car, for example.

"The cars that are ahead of us, for example, have an incredible amount of low-speed downforce. I don't know [what] the exact number is, but I know it's not small."

As for what the seven-time World Champion is expecting from his weekend in Saudi Arabia, he didn't dare to make any predictions.

"It is different – it shouldn't be as bumpy as Bahrain," Hamilton added.

"[Bahrain] is obviously a much older circuit, it's got more character to it, because it is as old as it is.

"This track is super fast and [has] a different surface – it'll behave with the tyres differently. These long, long straights might not be too fun with the bouncing, if we still have it, but those that have the bouncing will be in the same boat and, hopefully, we will try and fix some of it."

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