• Mercedes

Hamilton reveals key areas of progress since 2013

ESPN Staff
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Lewis Hamilton says he has made progress in several areas this year to get the Mercedes' handling to his liking.

Hamilton joined Mercedes from McLaren last year, but openly admitted he was not driving at his best in a car that had been designed around the driving styles of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. However, Hamilton says he has been working with Mercedes over the winter to find a middle ground that suits him better.

"It's a lengthy process," he said. "Obviously last year, when you request something to be changed, it takes some time because obviously you don't want to take away their focus from the most important things which is getting downforce. I think it's just taken some time.

"Michael had a different driving style to me. He required different things, different seating position, different set-up. I guess Nico and Michael both kind of gelled and went in one direction with the balance and then as I've come along, mine is slightly different and I guess we've then created a hybrid: Nico's come halfway, I've come halfway so we now require the same things from the car."

One area Hamilton struggled with last year was braking, but he is confident he has made progress in that area as well as improving the overall balance of the car.

"Particularly this year, it's been braking. Working on the simulator last year, analysing data of how hard you hit the brake, the brake pivot position, the master cylinder, different brake material and really focusing on brake settings. For example, I told them to go away and develop, I gave them a software idea and they went away and developed a piece of software which I use and which helps me come up with brake migration and all that kind of stuff.

"Set-up wise, I've been really pushing the guys because I like an oversteering car, but the car is too oversteery now. Last year I was struggling generally and really uncomfortable understanding some of the technical things they have on the car that Nico had been using for years. He knew it, so every time we did the debrief I didn't understand what he was talking about, but he was using it to his advantage, so it was really studying that and making sure that I knew how to use it to my advantage too. It took all of last year to really understand what feeling it was giving me. Last year things were happening and I just thought the car was not underneath me."

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