Having won his fifth world title, Lewis Hamilton has shifted focus to the next season and said he and Mercedes have already identified a weak spot in the next year’s aero regulations.
The 2019 season will see a change to the wings and bargeboard to improve overtaking. The new rules have resulted in a major change to the aerodynamic designs for most teams.
Hamilton said he had a meeting with the team to talk about the 2019 plans. The Brit said his team has already identified a few important areas that they need to focus to ensure the German team continues its dominance in the series.
“On Friday, sitting just talking to a couple of individuals who are not usually here but are up-to-date with next year’s car, we sit and have this in-depth conversation and it’s inspiring,” he said.
“They are so smart, incredibly intelligent and they think on a completely different wavelength to the normal person.
“Ultimately, I want to make sure, through our debriefs, they’ve not misinterpreted something. For example, I know what I need in this car to make it faster and I’ve got to make sure that I communicate that with them so that they go and build and find that performance.
“For next year’s car, I have an idea where the weak spot will be with these new rule changes, as do they.
“[It is just about] working closely, communication and we’re all of us constantly working so closely together, really elevating each other and I think this year, if you look at the team’s performance on the race weekend, that our mechanics, our engineers, strategists, we’ve all raised our game.”
As long as Mercedes continues to stay focussed on Formula 1, they will stay ahead, despite the challenge being mounted by an ever-improving Ferrari and Red Bull, he assured.
“I’m confident; as long as Mercedes don’t change their approach, don’t change their desire to win,” he said. “Some teams decide to veer off and do some other business venture and lose a bit of focus on the main ultimate goal.
“As long as they don’t do that, I believe that we’ll be able to stay on this path and continue to fight at the top.
“But Ferrari has been doing an amazing job this year so we cannot take anything for granted, we’ve got to keep the hammer down, keep pushing as they will be.”