Has this Mercedes F1 Setup Given Away the Reason for Hamilton & Bottas’ Contrasting Fortunes?

Published 06/17/2021, 11:12 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after winning the race alongside third place Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo


So far in the 2021 season, Lewis Hamilton has had to battle hard for his title. It appears that Red Bull have finally turned out a stronger car than Mercedes, and the latter are struggling.

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On an interesting note, reports emerged that both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have been using different chassis for the races.

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First and foremost, the Finnish driver used the fifth chassis for the Bahrain and Imola races. However, Bottas later switched to the 4th Mercedes W12 chassis for Portugal, Spain, Monaco, and Baku.

Since the 4th chassis has obviously not worked for him, the 31-year-old will take on a new chassis. Now whether he will go back to the 5th chassis or use a different one is anybody’s guess.

Lewis Hamilton is facing the same problems in his Mercedes

It is worth mentioning that this problem was not restricted to Bottas. Apparently, Lewis Hamilton also had similar issues and had to change chassis’ as well.

As it turns out, the reigning Formula One world champion used chassis #6 for the first 5 races. However, he opted to use the #3 chassis in Azerbaijan, which obviously did not work out well for him.

Now, the two Mercedes drivers will swap chassis’ yet again, with Hamilton using the #4 chassis and Bottas in the #6 chassis.

Whether these changes will make a difference this weekend, only time will tell. The Mercedes team desperately need a good result to get their championship challenge back on track.

For the first time, the German giants and Lewis Hamilton are trailing in the championship.

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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Naturally, the team wants to wrest it back and retake the championship lead. The big question is, will they be able to do it in France or will Red Bull continue their fine run?

One thing is for sure, Max Verstappen will be similarly motivated after his spectacular crash in Baku.

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Dhruv George

11784 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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