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F1 News: Lewis Hamilton Is Already "Mentally" In Ferrari Amid Mercedes Car Struggles

Former F1 driver David Coulthard suggests that Lewis Hamilton is currently "on the backfoot" in Mercedes.

Former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard stated that after a disappointing start to the 2024 season, Lewis Hamilton is on the backfoot with the W15 F1 car due to the "fundamental issues" plaguing the machine. As a result, in his mind, he is already in Ferrari, almost a year ahead of his move to the Red team.

Key Takeaways:

  • David Coulthard suggests Lewis Hamilton is struggling with the Mercedes W15 car and may already be with Ferrari, mentally.
  • Mercedes has faced challenges in developing a competitive car since the ground effect era began in 2022, with George Russell's São Paulo win being their last.
  • Despite Hamilton's feedback, Mercedes is winless this season, and the W15 shows little promise. Coulthard contrasts Hamilton's struggles with Russell's performance and hints at Ferrari's rising status.
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes (22)

Since the start of the ground effect era in 2022, Mercedes has struggled to develop a competitive car capable of winning races. The last Mercedes driver to secure a victory was George Russell in São Paulo in the same year.

After two years of battling porpoising issues on a 'draggy' car, the team worked hard over the winter break to unleash its entirely new challenger, the W15, for the current season. But with two races already ticked out of the 24 Grands Prix, the car has shown fewer signs of competing in the front. 

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Hamilton, who has contributed greatly to the car's development through his constant feedback to the engineers, is on his third winless season in Formula 1. The seven-time world champion won six titles with Mercedes from 2013 to 2021, but a sudden pause after 2022 caused him to reconsider his options by signing a deal with Ferrari for 2025 and beyond.

Assessing Hamilton's recent performances in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Coulthard implies that he is currently at a disadvantage, noting Russell's intense efforts that haven't yielded significant results. Conversely, as Ferrari drivers consistently trail behind the Red Bulls, Coulthard suggests that Hamilton might already be aligning mentally with the Red team. 

David Coulthard

Speaking to Channel 4, he said:

“He’s just not been settled with this car.

“And you can tell, you know, George is just honing the lap time right now and you can feel that Lewis is on the backfoot.

“What we do know though, if he does find a window of performance, then you know he will deliver.

“But right now, it’s looking like his decision to head off to Ferrari, mentally, he is already there.”

With the F1 returning to Melbourne in approximately two weeks, Red Bull has already established a significant lead over Mercedes in fourth place, with a margin of 61 points.

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