IMOLA (REUTERS) – Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has dismissed as “a bunch of nonsense” hypothesis about his future and mentioned he stays totally committed to Mercedes despite receding title hopes.
The 37-year-old Briton was 50 factors adrift of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after Saturday’s (April 23) Emilia Romagna dash race, with that gulf set to widen additional after solely 4 of the season’s 23 races.
Mercedes are fighting a “porpoising” car that bounces on the straights as aerodynamic downforce is gained and misplaced, and Hamilton certified solely 14th for Sunday’s primary race at Imola.
Asked whether or not he would see out his contract, which runs to the tip of subsequent 12 months, Hamilton mentioned such feedback had been foolish.
“I am 100 per cent committed to this team. There’s nowhere else that I want to be. Just because we’ve hit a rough patch, it’s just not in my DNA to back out,” he informed reporters.
“We are still world champions and we are able to repair this. It’s simply going to take longer, it’s going to take a painful 12 months.
“I think, ultimately, this is going to be a painful year that we’re going to have to ride out together with belief that we can rectify it at some point, maybe through the year or even the worst case scenario, at least for next year.”
Hamilton mentioned his present Mercedes was one of many worst he had pushed in Formula One.
“There are people that watch and say that I’ve never had a bad car. And I can assure you I have. The 2009 (McLaren) car was very, very far off, and was the worst car that I’ve had,” he mentioned.
“This car currently is not far off that experience, but I think has a lot of potential, as did that car. We fixed it eventually and got back in the fight, or in the game. And I have the utmost faith that my team can do that here, too.”
Hamilton, who received his first title with McLaren in 2008, failed to attain the rostrum within the opening 9 races of 2009 earlier than successful in Hungary.
Then, as now, Formula One underwent a guidelines revolution and Brawn GP surprised the sector with a radical interpretation.
“It was a brand new era of car and I remember coming back in February, or January, to the team, and the head aerodynamicists and team guys at the top were like ‘Oh, we’ve already hit our target’,” mentioned Hamilton.
“The new rules said we would have 50 per cent less downforce in 2009, so they designed the car to have 50 per cent less… Then obviously we got to the first test and realised that others had almost as much downforce as the previous year.”
Hamilton mentioned the present scenario was completely different with Mercedes wrong-footed by what the wind tunnel was telling them and the fact of the car bouncing on monitor.
“This experience is a lot harder to fix than we could have ever imagined,” he mentioned.