Hamilton: Mercedes’ engine development ‘not great’ this year

2019 Japanese Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Mercedes need to improve their engine development after losing ground to Ferrari during 2019, Lewis Hamilton believes.

Hamilton ended the Japanese Grand Prix stuck behind Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, which he was unable to pass despite being able to lap quicker. He described their power advantage as “incredible”.

“Of course I got in the tow of Seb, with DRS and maximum power and everything. [But] it’s incredible how quick they are.

“It makes it very, very difficult, even if you’ve got the advantage of the tyre. But I think it’s cool anyway, it provides interesting racing. I wish we could have had a closer race but it’s a difficult track to do so.”

Hamilton said Mercedes have “got time” to reduce their power deficit to Ferrari before the 2020 F1 season.

“It’s not been a great year for us in terms of the great issue, in terms of our engine development,” he said. “It’s been a really hard time for the guys, they’ve been working as hard as ever. But it’s just not been as successful in that department.”

The W10 is a “quite draggy”, Hamilton admitted, which adds to its deficit on the straights. “But we’ve had great reliability and hopefully that remains the same and that’s still something to be really proud of, of course.

“We have, obviously, still won the constructors championship. But we’ll push to try and maybe reduce the drag a little bit but also increase power for next.

“So they’re fully onto it and I have all the confidence in the world that we’ll be able to make some sort of step into the next season.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles/a>

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

41 comments on “Hamilton: Mercedes’ engine development ‘not great’ this year”

  1. Daily comment of Hamilton that basically means:
    “I’m the best, if I’m not winning every race with 30 seconds to the others that means that something is wrong with the car or the team”

    1. Daily troll mentions :
      “Let’s take an absolutely normal comment and use it for character assassination”

    2. Sorry but I don’t see him blaming the team or his car maybe your just lazy to read the article.

      1. Its not that mercedes engine not well developed, but ferrari were getting better in developing their engine well this season, and they gain alot.

    3. well said james! hamilton spoke matter of factly. its obvious to everyone this year ferrari has made huge gains in the engine department. unfortunately for ferrari hami and merc hv done and are doing what needs to be done to win wcc and wdc

      1. It’s not character assassination. Hamilton is by far the best driver of the last half decade. He doesn’t need to almost every other day be in the press or in the radio or in the social networks complaining. Some days is the strategy, others is the engine, in others is Ferrari that is not playing fair, etc. why all this insecurities? He’s the best, everybody knows that.

        1. he’s just stating the truth , and the reason he is the best in the first place is because he wants the team and himself to perform tot he maximum level (instead of just shrugging it off when they don’t)

        2. Yes it is. You haven’t challenged anything he said; just his character. You do it constantly. You should stop projecting your own insecurities onto others. You are just embarrassing yourself.

          1. Yes, I didn’t challenge what he said. I think it’s irrelevant. In a team, you win together, you loose together. Mercedes team has hundreds of people working with success, providing him with the longest dominating car in the history of F1. Go to the press to complain the quality of the work of hundreds of people just because his not as easy as he wants in my opinion is not correct.
            The past has shown that this kind of behavior works while the results are good, when the results begin to fade (they will eventually because no one is eternal), this kind of behavior will destroy the morale and motivation of the team, and he could end up as an Alonso.

    4. You know these “comments” by Hamilton are actually statements in response to questions by sports journalists?

      You’re complaining that he answered a question in the post-race press conference.

      Methinks thou doth project too much.

    5. Maybe you should try reading the article, nowhere does he “blame the “team”.

  2. Ah! so it’s the engine that’s been holding Williams back this whole time!

    1. No. That’s the engine that got them up the front of the grid; scoring lots of points, and occasionally on the front row. But over the years others caught up engine wise, and Williams couldn’t improve elsewhere. So no, not the whole time.

      1. Wow you did not get that

  3. Aaaaaaaaaagh. GP2 mercedes engine.

  4. What if there isn’t much room to improve upon it though?

    1. Well, that’s part of why Toto keeps glaring at Ferrari. Mercedes has an engine that has been pushing the boundaries of “what’s possible” since 2014– Mercedes reached the point of minute, incremental gains a couple years ago. They’re already near the previously inconceivable 50% thermal efficiency on their engine– possibly a bit over. It’s genuinely the most efficient internal combustion engine on the planet (or it was).

      So where did Ferrari find this big chunk of power?

      If they did it legally, Mercedes will find it.

      1. They defenitely are over that 50% yeah, they announced that a year or maybe even more back. And I think their Project One car with the F1 engine is also meant to have over 50%

      2. Grat of course MB can find it. They can hire MCL 2007 engg staff who well know how to do it.

  5. Hopefully one day Mercedes will make a decent car and then Hamilton can fight.

    1. @krommenaas It’s almost like you don’t know what it takes to be at the pinnacle of a sport.

  6. It is obvious they needed to understand the trick Ferrari is using with their battery. I would be surprised if they didn’t understand it already, though let’s see…

    On the other hand I don’t doubt they can achieve the similar performance with ICE and turbo improvements. It didn’t work this year, but nothing holds them from doing it next year!
    It already promises to be exciting!

    1. @dallein +1 The battery and the weird fuel blend thing that most of the pitlane seems to have commented on.

      1. Yeah, Mercedes ought to have their own variation of the ‘Oil’ burning engine to use in the second half of the season, when it seems Ferrari has a green light to do whatever the hell it takes to remain competitive.

    2. Well, it’s great you know the battery is the problem.
      So then it’s impossible for Ferrari to develop an engine that will dominate for the next several years as Mercedes has done?
      Maybe just maybe Red has surpassed Merc and catching up is not possible for the foreseeable future.
      I hope so.

      1. Manny you know how it has to work over here, MB brit motor valley engg are best in technology and it’s a normal standard be the best on field. Does anyone from Emilia Romagna lasagnans toys motor valley do better sometime? Not possible, it’s a trick, sure. And FIA their partner in crime letting them dominate, yeah?

  7. David (@billyboltaction)
    15th October 2019, 11:09

    I’m really interested to see how the Ferrari performs in Mexico. If it’s mostly a battery advantage then the high altitude won’t affect them as much and they should be mega fast, but maybe it’s more ICE related and as such the altitude might equalise the cars and give us a good Red Bull, Ferrari, Merc fight. Red bull certainly have come into play more at Mexico in the past as it nullifies the Merc ICE power advantage.

    I hope Merc are on top of the tyre issue that caused them so much trouble last year. Based on the season so far it looks like they might be.

    1. @billyboltaction Whilst altitude doesn’t affect the battery directly, it does still charge from the ICE, so if the ICE has less power output there will be less energy to charge the battery as well and so still will have an effect on deployment.

      1. David (@billyboltaction)
        15th October 2019, 16:52

        Maybe the H which derives from the Turbo but the K is from braking and shouldn’t be affected. I’m not sure where the Ferrari advantage is coming from. If it’s mostly H then you’re probably correct.

    2. Plus, with high altitude comes thinner air which will lead to less engine power, downforce and drag. Perhaps we will then find out if it is an engine, drag, ICE or battery problem that gives Ferrari such a straight line advantage?

  8. “But you know what has been great this year… my new Ralph Lauren line!!”

    1. Yes, the our reigning champion is very successful.

      1. Thanks for clearing that up…

  9. I mean Ferrari have clearly made a huge step forward in the past few races but to say Mercedes development has been a bit lacklustre seems ridiculous when they’ve cruised to a sixth consecutive world title in a row and are about to clinch a sixth driver’s one too. The only thing that’s changed now is Mercedes have to actually fight for it instead of crusing around +10 seconds out in front.

    They’ve certainly lost a little ground, but to even imply they’ve been bad or weak in places is downright silly – they’re still by a long way the most dominant team with the most complete package and I bet if you asked any driver on the grid or not which car they’d prefer to be in – the Ferrari or the Mercedes, they’d pick the Merc every time.

    1. @rocketpanda you got that quote wrong. Too bad that makes your whole rant useless. Ah well

      1. I wasn’t quoting anything but go off, I guess.

    2. @f1osaurus is a troll ignore him

  10. Certainly not what McLaren wanted to hear I’m sure. Would be funny if they repeat their Honda mistake and move from Renault just as it becomes better than Mercedes.

  11. He wants to keep the field as non-competitive as it is now. Just him and Bottas with Red having sporadic success.
    This coming from a driver who says he wants competition. He may be getting it sooner than later.
    A fraud.

    1. Is that what the voices in your head told you he wants?

Comments are closed.