Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children
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Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he is regularly speaking with those in charge of vehicle design at Mercedes as he looks to exert his influence on the development of next year’s challenger. The 36-year-old is currently embroiled in a fiercely-contested battle with Max Verstappen of Red Bull for Drivers’ Championship glory ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Hamilton currently trails his Red Bull rival by just seven points in the individual standings with another two races left to run.
He will be aiming for a third successive Grand Prix victory at the next time of asking in Saudi Arabia on the streets of Jeddah.
Verstappen can rubber-stamp his maiden world title this weekend if he wins the race and Hamilton finishes in seventh place or lower.
The former will also come out on top if he claims second place and his championship rival fails to score a point or crashes out.
Meanwhile, Hamilton will pip Verstappen to this year’s honours if he wins both remaining Grands Prix irrespective of how the Dutchman fares.
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It seems as though Hamilton already has one eye on next season and the development of his new car, which is set to look very different to this year’s Mercedes offering.
Next year’s challengers will be smaller than their current counterparts and their aerodynamics will be simplified with the intention of providing closer racing.
A number of drivers have already been getting to grips with their future machinery in the simulators, but Hamilton has revealed that he is yet to follow suit.
However, he conceded that he has been vocal in shaping the development of his new car in order to stand the best possible chance of success next season.
“I haven’t driven the car in the sim because I’ve literally just been focusing on this [current] one,” Hamilton told Motorsport.com.
“It’s been a hard enough workload as it is. But I’m in constant contact with the team, even after our races.
“I’m always talking about: ‘This is where our car is right now, and these are the things I want on next year’s car, keep an eye out for these things’.
“‘These are the issues I have with the engine, I don’t want to see that next year, please fix it’. I’m constantly having these conversations with heads.”
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Hamilton went on to explain that his regular post-race meetings often include discussions with regards to specific elements of next year’s car, including the aero balance and any potential hurdles to overcome.
“When I come away from the races, my big meetings I usually have with Shov [Andrew Shovlin], generally at the end of the week once they’ve collated all the data,” added Hamilton.
“Then, I have my meeting with Bono [Peter Bonnington], and then one with the team that are working on next year’s car, just to get an update on where they are.
“Whether it’s heavily rearwards aero or forwards aero, what kind of ride heights we can expect, what issues are they anticipating, what challenges are they having and what they anticipate it will be like in the car.
“But right now, with the progress it’s making in the wind tunnel, there is no point driving the car because it’s on a steep learning curve.”
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