Hamilton lays down target as Mercedes battle ‘knife-edge’ car

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believes Mercedes must at least half its deficit to
Red Bull in the 2024 season as it continues to battle the
ground-effect regulations. Red Bull has aced the 2022 technical
rules with Mercedes only enjoying one win since they were
introduced, with Hamilton's winless run going back to the 2021
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Although the team is currently locked in
a fight with Ferrari for second in the Constructors', it is over
double the points behind the runaway RB19, and 95 behind Max
Verstappen's 400 if he was a driver alone. The W14 has proven
tricky to set up during grand prix weekends, with Hamilton urging
the team to find a solution for the ‘knife edge' feeling he has
while making significant in-roads into Red Bull in 2024. Hamilton's
knife edge “It's just really hard to pull anymore [peformance] out,
I'm already on a knife edge with the rear-end the whole way through
a lap,” Hamilton told media including RacingNews365. “As a team, we
really need to realise that a one-second gap [in Japanese GP
qualifying to Red Bull and Max Verstappen] is huge, and real. “To
be two years in [to the ground effect regulations] and still be a
second down on the Red Bulls its… showing and we really need to
make sure we do the job to get at least half back before next year.
“We have a very peaky car, it's like that knife edge of trying to
balance the knife on its tip, and this is that car, it's
impossible. “It is never perfectly balanced one way or the other,
and it is either massive oversteer or massive understeer. You can
never get anything when you try and get it as close as you can to
the middle. “It's very hard to do each weekend.”

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