Lewis Hamilton will have his eyes fixed on the Formula 1 pecking order during the French Grand Prix weekend, with new FIA rules set to come into play at Le Castellet.
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Lewis Hamilton says it will be “interesting” to see whether the Formula 1 pecking order is affected by new rules set to come into play during the French Grand Prix weekend.
The seven-time World Champion has faced plenty of bouncing behind the wheel of his Mercedes this season, all while his closest rivals, Ferrari and Red Bull, share race wins.
Mercedes have fought hard to understand why their car is proving so difficult to tame in comparison to their rivals – but fresh suggestions that F1’s leading teams have found a clever trick with their skid planks have offered Hamilton fresh hope.
As part of the FIA’s new Technical Directive aimed at tackling porpoising, that will come into play for the French Grand Prix weekend, the skid plank under the car may only bend two millimetres across its entire length with some wriggle room (a rumoured 10%) being allowed.
That wording differs slightly from the original rules, which prevents teams from flexing their skid plank at only three measured points – leading to speculation that some teams (thought to be Ferrari and Red Bull) are flexing the bottom plank of their floors at points unmeasured by the FIA. This must change from the French GP onwards.
“I’m praying every day. I definitely have hope that we can improve and I know everyone is working so hard,” said Hamilton, speaking to Channel 4.
“There are also some things going on in the background with floors, all sorts of things. It will be interesting to see how that affects everybody.”
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While some notable F1 figures stand against a mid-season change of rules, such as Christian Horner, Hamilton feels the pain he endured during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend told the FIA all they needed to know.
It was after that race that the sport’s governing body took the decision to act and, from the French Grand Prix weekend onwards, teams could be disqualified for running a car that bounces too severely or too often.
“I’m dying for the day I get in the car and we don’t have bouncing,” Hamilton continued.
“There’s been times when the bouncing has been so heavy that you have to lift down the straight. This was a challenge of a different kind. In the race, you can’t lift.
“You’re thinking of the points for the team, and how much every step in the championship means for all those that you work with.
“And so you just grit and take it. It’s the first time in my racing career that I’ve looked at a set-up and decided to just live with a problem. That’s an unusual scenario.
“It took me three weeks after to feel good again but thankfully it was nothing disc-related, it was all muscle. There’s been a lot of needles stabbed in my back!”
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