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Hamilton still not happy with Mercedes under braking
Lewis Hamilton is still struggling to get the maximum from his Mercedes under braking and is concerned it will be his Achilles heel this weekend at the Italian Grand Prix.
Since moving to Mercedes at the start of the season, Hamilton has complained about not being able to jump on the brakes as aggressively as he did at McLaren. The Mercedes has a 'FRIC' (Front and Rear Inter-Connected) suspension system that is designed to offer a better aerodynamic balance by maintaining a constant ride height under braking and acceleration. However, Hamilton said it has meant he has had to adapt the way he would usually brake for corners.
"The car is different to the McLaren, it behaves differently and it pitches differently," he said. "It's just the way the technology is now, there are some things that help us benefit elsewhere but it hampers the car a little bit for me under braking. It's something we are working on and we can improve on over the course of time.
"It's not been that bad over the last few races. I think I'm getting the best out of it. If you look at my brake pressure compared to Nico's, who's much more comfortable with it, they're similar, but if you look over the past seven years my brake pressure was way more than Jenson's, way more than Heikki's and it was always more than Fernando's. That's the different that I see this year but we are just trying to make improvements on it and I am doing the best I can with it."
Compared to rivals Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes struggled for pace at the last race at Spa-Francorchamps and has made some alterations to its low-drag aero package for Monza. Hamilton is hoping the tweaks will work but said sorting the brakes would still be his main focus in practice.
"Tomorrow, whatever package we have on, it will or will not work. I'm just hopeful that we have the right wing level, there or there abouts, and it's competitive to others," he said. "I think my biggest concern will be braking, so that will be my real focus - to maximise braking stability and getting the most out of the brakes.
"I need that confidence to really attack them, which I've had for so many years, and I still don't feel like I have that now. There's no reason why this weekend is going to be any different but that's just a particular point I need to focus on more than at any other weekend."