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Mercedes set to deliver Lewis Hamilton request after Brit made impassioned plea

Mercedes have responded to Lewis Hamilton’s calls for ‘big changes’ after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Ahead of Sunday’s race in Australia, trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin explained that the Silver Arrows were looking into ‘more fundamental’ alterations after an underwhelming start to the season.

During the early stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, Mercedes looked well-set to challenge Red Bull on the odd occasion and stamp their authority on the battle for P2 in the Constructors’ Championship. However, the first two races have been a wake-up call for the Silver Arrows.

Instead, Toto Wolff’s outfit are locked into a battle with McLaren for the title of the third-fastest car with just two points separating the two teams in the standings. A strong performance from George Russell in Bahrain contributed most of those points too, with Hamilton sitting down in P9 in the Drivers’ Championship.

After a difficult outing in Jeddah, Hamilton made his thoughts on the W15 known. “It’s definitely tough, but we’ll get our heads down and we’ll keep working away,” he told Sky Sports F1. “I know everyone at the factory is pushing as hard as they can, but we’ve definitely got to make some big changes.

“We haven’t made big enough changes perhaps. You look at the three teams ahead of us, they still have different concepts to where we are in some areas. So we’ve got some performance to add, that’s for sure.”

Thankfully for the seven-time world champion, his team have taken notice and the staff back at Brackley are already working on radical solutions to the W15’s issues. However, if Hamilton is to end his 12th and final season with Mercedes with a victory, they will need to claw back considerable performance relative to Red Bull. 

Discussing Mercedes’ new thought process ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, Shovlin explained: “We started to converge back in the general direction of where we came from arriving there. But the learning of it is just that when you change things you can see the differences. So one car making changes, you can see how it performs run to run.

“We can also look at the global performance of the two cars but fundamentally the limitations that we had in qualifying and the race, they were broadly the same for both. So it’s telling you it’s not a small difference, it’s not a tiny bit of camber or a spring or bar here and there. It’s something more fundamental that we need to dig into and understand.”

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