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Hill: Hamilton putting more pressure on Mercedes than anyone

As Mercedes look to bounce back from a difficult start to the 2023 F1 season, Damon Hill believes that Lewis Hamilton is amping the pressure up.

Damon Hill believes that Lewis Hamilton is putting more pressure on Mercedes than anybody else amid the team's recent struggles. It was a difficult start to the 2023 Formula 1 season for the Silver Arrows in Bahrain, with Hamilton and George Russell ending the race in P5 and P7 respectively. During a discussion on the F1 Nation podcast, host Tom Clarkson questioned whether Toto Wolff may put some pressure on the shoulders of the team's Technical Director, Mike Elliott, and Hill suggested that pressure is a natural part of the sport. "It's hard to criticise. You don't want to start saying, 'Okay, somebody needs to sort this out,'" Hill explained. "People's jobs are really important, and the last thing they need is pressure. But this is Formula 1, and that's the nature of the beast. The nature of the beast is [that] you're in the spotlight, it's not a place you can hide away. "Somebody is going to look for where it's right and where it's wrong. And if it's an individual that is leading people in the wrong direction, then they are going to be put under pressure. "I don't think [Mattia] Binotto necessarily should have lost his position at Ferrari, but that's what happened. This is the nature of the game. It's tough."

Hill: If anyone's putting pressure on, it's Hamilton

Hamilton expressed his support for the team over the radio following the Bahrain Grand Prix, but has gone on to suggest that the squad failed to listen to his advice when designing the W14 . Hill thinks that this will be the main source of pressure for Mercedes when it comes to addressing their issues. "Lewis has raised the issue. He's come out and said, 'I did tell them, they didn't listen,'" Hill commented. "That's not very supporting. That is putting pressure on, so if anyone's putting pressure on, its Lewis. I think Lewis puts more pressure by him being in the team than anything we could say or do. "They know the problem, they know they've got to sort it out, and that's going to be an opportunity. That's the way Toto puts it, he'll say, 'This is an opportunity for us to show what we're made of, and show the world what we're capable of doing.'"

Can Mercedes fix their problems?

While Hill refuses to "write off" Mercedes, the former F1 driver feels that the issue ultimately lies with the car design. "You'd be foolish to write them off and say they can't fix it," Hill said. "But the underlying problem has been this fundamental car design. They all say sidepods are not the issue, but their sidepods look totally different to everyone else, apart from Williams. "You look at the Aston Martin and it's Red Bull sidepods plus, or even Ferrari plus. These other cars have gone in a completely different direction with that, and Mercedes have still gone for this zero sides concept. "So you can't help feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with that idea."

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