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Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton to be handed boost with Mercedes allowed more testing on struggling car due to FIA rule

LEWIS HAMILTON and George Russell have been handed a boost in the development of their struggling Mercedes car.

The Silver Arrows have been significantly slower than both Red Bull and Ferrari in the opening nine races of the 2022 F1 season.

Mercedes have failed to keep pace with Red Bull and Ferrari in the opening nine races

Hamilton secured his second podium of the season last weekend

Russell and Hamilton sit fourth and sixth in the drivers standings, while Mercedes are more than 100 points adrift of Red Bull in the constructors championship.

But they are now seeing some of the benefits of not leading the pack as the teams are allocated time to test their cars.

Aerodynamic testing is currently capped by FIA regulations.

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But as a result of Mercedes slipping down the grid, The Mirror have reported that they are no longer the most restricted team when it comes to this form of testing – with Red Bull and Ferrari leapfrogging them.

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Mercedes are now also behind the two frontrunners when it comes to the ATR handicap system – which determines the amount of wind tunnel time each team is allocated.

This means they will be given 80 per cent of the total time, 10 per cent more than they had for the first nine races of the season.

Red Bull, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Haas have all seen their wind tunnel time reduced, but Williams have had an increase like Mercedes.

The slight shift in testing time means the reigning constructors champions can use this to improve their current car or even focus on developing next season’s model.

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The next race on the 2022 calendar is the British Grand Prix – with the Silverstone weekend kicking off on July 1.

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And Mercedes’ technical director Mike Elliott has confirmed the team will be bringing upgrades to the circuit.

He said: “We will be bringing new bits to Silverstone, we will be trying to push the car forward, trying to get some pace from the car we’ve got or from the package we’ve got as well as the new bits we are going to add to it.

“I think Silverstone will be a circuit that suits us a little bit better, like Barcelona did, but maybe it will be just a little bit difficult.

“Whatever happens we will push as hard as we can. Our drivers will push as hard as we can because we want to get back to winning.

“We want to win for the team, we definitely want to win and we want to win for you, the fans. So let’s see what happens.”

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