The seven-time champion assessed a trial floor in Montreal’s first session on Friday. That was abandoned for the second practice session when he and teammate George Russell went completely separate ways with their setup instructions.
But after telling his team over the team radio that the car was “undriveable,” Hamilton later explained how awful things were.
“Nothing we’re doing on this car seems to be working in general,” he said after turning 13th in the second session. “That’s why we’re trying different setups.
“Me and George raced very different setups in FP2 just to see if one ways work and one ways don’t. I’ll wait to hear how it was for him, but for me it was a disaster.
“It’s like the car is getting worse and worse, like it’s getting less and less satisfied the more we work on it. We’ll keep working on it and it is what it is [as] I think this is the car of the year.
“We just have to persevere and work hard to build a better car for next year.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Hamilton appreciated that Mercedes were “well off the pace” in Montreal as he was not at all comfortable at the site of his maiden F1 win due to the ultra-stiff setup the team was driving.
“It’s not the Montreal that I know, that I’m used to and that I’ve experienced in my career,” he said. “It’s the worst I’ve ever felt in a car here.
“So I’m hoping that overnight we can try to make some changes. But basically it’s just the basics of a car: it is what it is. And it will be a fight.”
Teammate Russell, who finished seventh in the later session, said Mercedes has not lived up to expectations so far.
“Our performance wasn’t what we wanted it to be,” he said. “Compared to the top two teams, we’re pretty far off the pace. But there are also a couple of guys – Fernando [Alonso]and Sebastian [Vettel] – which are also very strong.
“So we have work to do.”