Lewis Hamilton points to Red Bull’s “really good wing that bends”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

After Red Bull proved to be too fast for Mercedes at the Styrian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton believes part of the Austrian team’s performance is down to their ‘bendy wing’.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have been saying Red Bull is using a ‘bendy’ rear wing, which would actually not be legal according to current Formula 1 rules.

Now, after suffering a defeat at the hands of Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton once again mentioned that Red Bull’s rear wing might be helping them achieve their current level of performance.

“We could have put a smaller wing on this weekend,” the Briton said after the race.

“But we would have just been slower through the corners, and therefore probably have more degradation. We’ll be looking at things.

“They [Red Bull] have that really good wing that bends which they’ve had for most of the year. I think they’ve been developing it for, as far as I’m aware of, for quite a long time. We haven’t.

“I’ve just got to push everyone as hard as possible, and put in as much work as possible to get that performance.”

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The Briton says he has pushed his W12 to the max, and there was no more performance left.

“The car’s on limit. It was flat out the whole way, really. Of course, then if you apply some management then you are just further off.

“I think Max was able to just manage ahead and still be pulling away. Really strong pace from them today. There’s not really a lot we can probably do over the next four days.

“But, we’ll work as hard as we can to see if we can squeeze any more juice out this car.”

Although Toto Wolff said numerous times that Mercedes decided to switch their focus on the 2022 car, Hamilton says the only way to compete with Red Bull is to find a way to update the current car.

Also, with the FIA planning to crack down on ‘bendy’ wings with a new technical directive, Lewis thinks this might also help level the playing field.

“We’ve still got many races ahead of us and we’ve got to keep pushing. We’re world champions and we can definitely improve if we put our minds to it.

“But if we’re not going to develop and improve our car for the rest of the year, this is the result you’re going to see, because they’ve really eked out performance in these last few races, whether it’s in France with the engine or with the new wing, whichever it is.

“But there’s another TD coming out for the wings; I don’t know if that’s stopping the bendiness or not. Maybe that will level the playing field, we’ll see.”

Ultimately, the Briton puts his faith in his team to do what is necessary to stay in the championship fight.

“I’ve got an incredibly intelligent, strong and amazing group of people working behind me who take all those decisions. Obviously you have to try and balance out with this new cost cap.

“Naturally we would love to have upgrades and improvements, but I don’t think that’s currently on the cards. Of course when we do a debrief we’ll chat about it, but that’s how it is at the moment.

“I’m not going to question the team’s logic and how they go through their process. As I said, I would love to have… Give us an upgrade! We would love an upgrade! But I don’t think it’s in the pipeline at the moment.

“We’re down on a few areas. It’s been close at the beginning of the season and if both Red Bull and us had the same performance as we did in those first four races then perhaps it would be a little more exciting.

“But as I said they’ve taken a decent step forwards. We’ll work as hard as we can to maneuver around it. But in terms of baseline performance this is what we got.

“I think we did a decent job today but it’s probably going to get harder if Sergio [Perez] has a better weekend, but we’re going to keep pushing,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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