I’ve never driven a car this bad, says Hamilton RaceFans

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022

Lewis Hamilton said an experimental setup and a drastic change to the floor of his Mercedes did not improve the team’s problem car in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton said today’s run was “practically every Friday for us”, using different parts from his car and that of his teammate George Russell. “We try a lot of different things, experimental deepening on my side, which didn’t work. Nothing we do with this car seems to generally work.

“So we try different setups, me and George went with a lot of different setups in this P2 to see if one way works and one way doesn’t,” Hamilton explained. He said he would wait to hear what Russell would think of his car’s performance, but described his own session as ‘a disaster’.

“It’s like the car is getting worse, like it’s getting more and more unhappy the more we do it,” said Hamilton. “So we keep working on it and it is what it is.”

However, he has resigned that he cannot make significant improvements with the W13. “I think this is the car of the year, so we just have to get through it and work hard to build a better car for next year.”

Hamilton said the car’s stiffness makes it particularly restrictive to drive in Montreal. “One touch of the curb and the thing flies, it’s so stiff. And here you have to be able to use the curbs. So it’s very, very difficult.

“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 I’ve ever felt a car here.” Hamilton first raced at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2007. “I hope we can try and make some changes overnight. But essentially it’s just the fundamentals of the car, it is what it is and it’s going to be a battle.”

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Hamilton said he had “a monumental fight to keep it out of the wall the whole time” during practice. “If it bounces, if the car takes off a lot, then when it lands, it grabs and goes in different directions. And so you’re just trying to catch a car that skips, grabs, skips, grabs. It is heavy.”

Gallery: 2022 Canadian Grand Prix Practice in Photos

The bounce caused “some big hits today,” added Hamilton. A ride height adjustment didn’t help the problem, he added. “We raised the car and it makes no difference.”

The only positive to take away, Hamilton concluded, was that some set-up options had been eliminated. “Well, we’ve tried a lot of things, so we checked them all off. They don’t work, so we have to find something else. And we’re a long way off, but it’s to be expected with this car.”

George Russell said the difference between his car and Hamilton’s was more extreme than in previous races. “In FP2 that was probably the biggest set-up anomaly that Lewis and I have had all season,” he said. “We went in two completely different directions.

“We will probably be able to find a happy medium between the two. So we’re going to work hard.

“We just have to make sure that we qualify for the midfield. I think we have a race car that will put us in the best team position. But of course it can be difficult if we qualify a little out of position.”

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Canadian Grand Prix 2022

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