Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ experiments in Friday practice at the Canadian Grand Prix were “a disaster” for him as he resigns himself to a season of struggle.
The seven-time world champion complained during FP2 that the car had become “undrivable” while carrying out experiments to try and solve the bottoming that has plagued Mercedes in recent races, with some new parts introduced. After finishing the session in 13th place, Hamilton admits he hadn’t found a direction that worked and the car felt like it’s getting worse.
“Pretty much like every Friday for us — trying lots of different things; an experimental floor on my side that didn’t work,” Hamilton said. “Nothing we do to this car generally seems to work. We’re trying different setups, me and George (Russell), with much different setups in this FP2 just to see if one way works and one way doesn’t.
“I’ll wait to hear how it felt for him, but for me it was a disaster. It’s like the car is getting worse. It’s getting more and more unhappy the more we do to it. We’ll keep working on it, but it is what it is. I think this is the car for the year, so we’ll just have to tough it out and work hard on building a better car for next year.”
Hamilton says he isn’t able to attack the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in the same way he has been used to in the past, with the 2022 cars making it tougher to ride curbs.
“One touch to the curb and the thing goes flying, it’s so stiff. Here you need to be able to use the curbs, so it’s very, very tricky. It’s not the Montreal that I know, that I’m used to and that I’ve experienced in my career. It’s the worst that I’ve ever felt in any car here. I’m hoping, overnight, that we can try and make some changes but it’s just the fundamentals of the car… It is what it is and it’s going to be a struggle.
“It’s just a monumental fight the whole time to keep it out of the wall. When the car leaves the ground a lot…when it lands it goes in different directions so you are just trying to catch a car that jumps, hops, grips, hops, grips. It’s tough and keeps you on edge. There were some big hits today. We’ve raised the car and it doesn’t make any difference.”