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Lewis Hamilton left concerned as Mercedes’ bouncing problems return at Belgian GP

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes suffered big bouncing issues during the Belgian GP weekend similar to the 2022 problems that plagued the team; Toto Wolff says W14 upgraded floor may have been a cause of the issue; Hamilton finished fourth on Sunday as Max Verstappen claimed another victory

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Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton says that the bouncing that he suffered from last year is back, and team principal Toto Wolff admits his team's performance was 'not great' at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton says he is concerned after Mercedes suffered with significant bouncing issues during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton started third in Sunday's Grand Prix but was unable to make advances on Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc ahead of him and ended up finishing fourth as Max Verstappen came through from sixth on the grid to claim an eighth consecutive win.

Mercedes were plagued by significant bouncing - or porpoising - during the 2022 season, which was the first year of F1's current technical regulations, and Hamilton said the W14 was suffering from similar levels of bouncing at Spa.

"It was kind of a non-eventful race. There wasn't much going on and I wasn't able to keep up with the cars ahead of me," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

"Struggled at the beginning, rear end is our biggest issue and we had big bouncing this weekend, so we were back to the bouncing like we had last year.

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Highlights of the Belgian Grand Prix from Spa.

"(The team) don't know (what's caused the bouncing). To me it is a concern but we'll work through the data this week and try and figure out what we do for the next race.

"I know what I want, I'm praying for it and I'm just waiting for the day we get it."

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Despite the bouncing issues, Hamilton was able to claim the fastest lap of the race on the final lap after a late pit stop.

The 13 points picked up in Spa leaves the seven-time world champion a point behind Fernando Alonso in third in the Drivers' Championship as F1 enters its four-week summer break.

"At the end I was keeping the Ferrari within a few seconds but I couldn't get any closer to battle and to get the fastest lap at the end, it was nice to have the gap to the car behind. The last lap was decent," Hamilton said.

"It was gusty today, it was difficult out there to keep it on track."

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Ted Kravitz is in the paddock as he reviews all the biggest stories from the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

Did Mercedes' updated floor cause bouncing?

Mercedes brought another sizeable upgrade package to Belgium which featured further modifications to their sidepod design and an updated floor to generate more downforce.

And Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the upgraded floor could have been a cause for the bouncing problems returning.

"I think the floor could have been a reason why we've been bouncing. We're going to see it in the data and maybe there is something which we need to fine-tune because I still believe the direction we are going now is the right one," Wolff said.

"I've just seen the data and spoken to the drivers and the main limiting factor today and yesterday was the bouncing.

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Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz takes a look at the upgrades Mercedes have made for the Belgian Grand Prix.

"The car was bouncing on literally every straight, even Blanchimont was a corner where Lewis had to lift and that is easy flat normally.

"You're bouncing on the straight, you overheat the tyres and the braking so it's a vicious circle and was the main limiting factor this weekend.

"It's frustrating to check out on holidays like this. Tomorrow and after tomorrow we're going to understand more based on the data."

Formula 1 returns after the summer break with the Dutch GP and all sessions will be live on Sky Sports F1 from August 25-27. Stream the biggest sporting events with NOW

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