Hamilton knew Mercedes had F1 car update planned for coming races

Lewis Hamilton says he knew that Mercedes had updates planned for its W12 Formula 1 car in the coming races despite the team’s decision to stop further development.

In the wake of his defeat to Max Verstappen in the Styrian Grand Prix last Sunday, Hamilton said that Mercedes “need an upgrade of some sort” after finding it “impossible” to keep up with the Red Bull driver.

The victory saw Verstappen extend his lead over Hamilton at the top of the drivers’ championship to 18 points, while Red Bull has now won all of the last four races.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff revealed after the race that development had stopped on the 2021 car in order to push resources to 2022, but technical chief James Allison clarified that updates already in the pipeline were still to come for the car.

“We have a reasonable number of things that are going to make our car faster in the coming races, and let's hope they prove sufficient,” Allison said.

Asked about Allison’s comments ahead of this weekend’s second race at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton acknowledged that he knew the updates were coming, but called on Mercedes again to keep pushing to get more out of the car.

“Well, I mean, I knew we had that upgrade coming,” Hamilton said. “But at the end of the day, everyone is working absolutely flat out.

“We’re learning more and more about this car, we’re discovering where we need to push more and extract more, and I have all the confidence in the team that we will do over the course of time.”

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Hamilton has failed to win any of the last four races, marking his longest run without a victory since 2017-2018 when he went six-in-a-row without reaching the top step of the podium.

Hamilton showed few signs of dwelling on the growing gap to Verstappen and increased threat posed by Red Bull this year, pointing to the long season still to be run.

“They’ve done obviously a great job in these last for races,” Hamilton said.

“It’s been really difficult for us from Monaco, which was obviously a bit of a disaster, and then the same for Baku. 

“[It was] better in France and last weekend, however they have taken a step ahead of us. So, we’re just working as hard as we can to see if we can close that gap.

“We’re not even halfway through the season. So I am still chasing this title.”

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