Lewis Hamilton warned of ‘genuine problems’ at Mercedes as ex-F1 designer speaks out

Lewis Hamilton refuses to let 2021 season ‘define’ his career

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The new F1 season is just days away now but former F1 car designer Gary Anderson has spelled out the ‘genuine problems’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell face ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Pre-season testing results are always taken with a pinch of salt as some teams hold back on their full potential.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari are convinced that is the case for Mercedes, who struggled to match the pace of their rivals in Bahrain last week.

But Russell and Hamilton both insist their issues are genuine with pundits and former drivers also noticing issues for the Mercedes pair.

The bold upgrades on the W13 have failed to fix the oversteering and porpoising effects caused by the new design.

Neither of the two Mercedes drivers have appeared completely comfortable with any set up from three days testing in Bahrain.

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All will become much more clear this weekend in the first race of the season.

However, Anderson believes Mercedes’ issues will only be fixed if they follow the same route of Red Bull.

“They’ve got genuine problems. It’s a difficult one to say to what level those problems go,” Anderson told The Race.

“I don’t think they’re trying to run the car in the right window right now. They seem to have gone around the porpoising problems by making the car stiffer.

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“Making the car stiffer then leads to more brake locking and a car that doesn’t ride the kerbs or bumps very well.

“There are two or three ways of solving that problem. The best one is to solve the porpoising, obviously.

“Try to keep the downforce you’ve got and solve the porpoising, which is what I think Red Bull has achieved.

“Look at its car in the latter part of the final day in Bahrain – I would say it’s running more rake in the car than most others.

“Through Turn 4 you can see the side of the car as it loads up and it doesn’t seem to be quite as near the ground as some of the other cars.

“It’s only a visual thing, but the Red Bull does ride the kerbs quite well. So it’s a compromise of car stiffness, aerodynamic philosophy and how you abuse the kerbs. And I think Red Bull has got the best package out of that.

“I think Mercedes has gone the wrong direction to achieve it. It’s tried to keep the downforce levels that it gets out of the underfloor by just tightening the car up, running it stiff, running it low, keep it in one little working window.”

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