'Jaws In Mercedes Garage Just Dropped' After Watching Norris Ahead Of Hamilton

Thursday, 14 March 2024 at 16:45
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Formula 1 analyst Peter Windsor identified one crucial problem in Mercedes's 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix performance.
Mercedes's team principal, Toto Wolff, already admitted that Mercedes was lacking in one crucial area during the second race of the season, which destroyed Lewis Hamilton's and George Russell's chances of competing for a podium.
The team principal asserted that W15 could match just about any car in almost all of the circuit's sections, besides high-speed corners, where they always lost. Peter Windsor said on the Short Corners Podcast:

"We then finally saw the difference between the McLaren and the Mercedes in 100% technicolor clarity at the end when they were both out โ€“ Lando [Norris] and Lewis [Hamilton] โ€“ nose-to-tail, Lando in front of Lewis on these used sets of soft tires."

Lando Norris, the seven-time World Champion, started the race behind each other on the starting grid and went for the same strategy.
This meant they effectively followed each other throughout the whole race, but in the end, Hamilton went for a stop earlier and caught up with the Papaya driver.

"And they were very, very close. Lewis on his first flying lap, he came in one lap earlier than Lando was almost past but didn't get him."

It seemed like Hamilton was about to perform an easy overtake in a few corners as he came within three tenths of a second of the 24-year-old on lap 39. But then, Mercedes's weakness was exposed

"Then they got to the middle section of the lap, the high-speed corners, the medium-speed corners and Lando just pulled away."

"And jaws in the Mercedes garage just dropped and that was it, and that was the big message of the race. Even in Saudi Arabia, a circuit with three DRS zones, Lewis couldn't get past Lando."

In the video above, you can notice that the seven-time World Champion lost about 0.818 seconds on Norris just within nine corners as the gap between them went from 0.370 to 1.197 seconds. Windsor added:

"Lando was so much quicker through the quick corners in terms of grip level and the downforce they were running, and they were able to generate on the McLaren, but he was just pulling away."