Ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton compared his current car to the worst Formula 1 car he has driven in his career – the 2009 McLaren MP4-24.
However, the good news is that McLaren ultimately managed to fix that car and get back in the fight.
“There are people that watch and say that I’ve never had a bad car,” Hamilton said.
“And I can assure you I have. The 2009 car was very, very far off, and was the worst car that I’ve had. This car currently is not far off that experience, but I think has a lot of potential.
“As did that car, we fixed it eventually and got back in the fight, or in the game. And I have the utmost faith that my team can do that here too.”
Lewis then explained what went wrong back in 2009.
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“The scenario in 2009 was I was in my third year in this sport, it was a brand new era of car.
“And I remember coming back in February, or January, to the team, and I remember the head aerodynamicists and team guys at the top were like, ‘Oh, we’ve already hit our target.’
“The new rules said that we would have 50% less downforce in 2009, so they designed the car to have 50%, less downforce!
“And I remember in February, we were like, ‘Oh, we’ve already hit our target.’ And I was like, ‘That doesn’t sound right…’
“But I didn’t have the experience at the time. And then obviously we got to the first test and we realised that others had almost as much downforce as the previous year.
“And they were like, ‘Oh shoot, we’ve got to work to regain that.’ And the ultimate unlocker of that was a double diffuser. And we got there.”
Hamilton added that Mercedes didn’t make the same mistake McLaren did back then.
“This one’s different because the team have not been like, ‘Oh, we’ve already hit our goal.’ We didn’t know where everyone would be.
“They’ve been super innovative with design. And our wind tunnel was telling we had really good downforce.
“And unfortunately, we got on track and we didn’t see that… There was no bouncing, for example, in a wind tunnel. And we came across this phenomenon.
“This experience is a lot harder to fix than then we could have ever imagined. But as I’ve said, it doesn’t kill us will only make us stronger.
“And we will find a solution one way or another,” the Briton concluded.