Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has joked that his ‘bumpy’ car could leave him needing to see a dentist. Following his practice session ahead of the United States, the 37-year-old spoke of the difficult ride on a ‘bumpy’ track.
Hamilton has criticised his car previously and how it has held him back this season, though improvements are being made. Comparing last year’s vehicle to the one that he will drive on Sunday, the Brit said: “I came here after Montreal and I drove last year’s car and it was so good.
“I remember getting out and just beaming from ear to ear because it was so smooth and had good downforce, good power. This year obviously we lost a bit of power with the biofuels.
“The car is so stiff now. Coming and driving the car, luckily I don’t actually have many [dental] fillings because, if I did, they would have all come out this year, for sure. It’s just so, so bumpy. I’m really praying for a non-bumpy car next year.”
Mercedes’ porpoising has caused them several issues over the season, with Toto Wolff admitting that he was concerned about the matter and making it a priority of his team to address the issue. Steps are being taken, as expected, by the team, and Hamilton felt that he is reaping the benefits from that.
He said: “I kept the car in one piece today, which is good, and definitely felt improvements in the car. Obviously, this [FP2] was a bit of a waste of a session in terms of performance but P1 was feeling quite good. I’m hoping we make some changes tonight and we’ll find out tomorrow exactly where we stand. But it doesn’t feel like we’re too far away from everyone.”
Hamilton has been at the heart of several conversations of late after it was revealed that Red Bull’s spending last year had exceeded the budget cap, somewhat tarnishing the title of driver Max Verstappen. The FIA are in talks with Red Bull as they weigh up a potential penalty for the team, but Wolff does not feel it is ‘realistic’ to remove the Dutchman’s title and give it to Hamilton.
He told La Gazzetta Dello Sport: “I don’t know the size of the violation, but one or two million [overrun] can already decide a championship, the FIA must make the right choice and the penalty must reflect the violation. I don’t think you can go back to the 2021 world title [for Verstappen] because with a smaller violation that is, according to the rules, not realistic. But it should be fairer and clearer in the future.”