Lewis Hamilton confirms personal spying mission with Daniel Ricciardo the victim

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he takes ‘snapshots’ of every Formula One car in a bid to gain an advantage with Mercedes. The seven-time world champion has struggled in the W14 this year and says he is constantly seeking ways to enhance the Silver Arrows vehicle for 2024.

Hamilton admits that he has even taken a look at the floor of Daniel Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri, despite the team being eighth in the Constructors’ Championship leaderboard. The floor of Ricciardo’s car intrigued Hamilton and he fed back his observation to Mercedes’ head of aerodynamics, Jarrod Murphy.

The 38-year-old says he remains in constant contact with Murphy to ensure Mercedes’ are doing their best to build a better car for next year. Hamilton and team-mate George Russell have had a difficult time adjusting to aerodynamic regulation changes over the last two years.

Asked by Channel 4 if this season has been better than the previous year, Hamilton responded: “I don’t know. I mean, last year, we had a race win in Brazil, but it doesn’t really mean it’s necessarily getting better – we still started the season a second and a half down in Bahrain.

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“You know, it’s nice definitely to be progressing and we have seen progress with this car, so fingers crossed for winter.

“But I’ll be staying. I’m in touch with the head of aero and I’m just checking up on him every week like: ‘How are we doing and what have you tried? Where’s the progress? Have you tried this?’

“I take snapshots of every car. I saw underneath the AlphaTauri the other day and I went back and was like, ‘hey, they’ve got these things on their floor.’ You know, you’re just trying to find everything that you can pass on, [but] they know most of the stuff anyway.”

Hamilton, who has not won a Grand Prix since Saudi Arabia in 2021, will sit out of FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Mercedes starlet Frederik Vesti, 21, will sit in his seat during the session, with Hamilton confirming P3 in the drivers’ standings last weekend.

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“Driving in FP1 in Abu Dhabi is another step in my career. Getting my first experience of an official session on an F1 weekend in Mexico was a big moment,” Vesti said.

“I learnt so much, and it was great being able to support the team and work with Lewis and George. I’m looking forward to building on that experience at Yas Marina.

“It’s a track I know well and that will no doubt make it easier to get up to speed in the one hour of practice. I’m extremely excited to get back behind-the-wheel of the W14 for FP1 and then the post-season test. Once again, I want to say a big thank you to the team for giving me this opportunity.”

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