Lewis Hamilton says the rapid progress Mercedes is making in developing its 2022 Formula 1 car means there is no point in him trying it out in the simulator yet.
While there are still two races to go this year, F1 teams are working flat out to ensure their designs for all-new rules next season are as advanced as possible.
While some drivers, like Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, have already tried the new cars in the simulators and had a first taste of how different they are, Hamilton says that he sees little benefit to doing so.
For as well as not wanting to divert any of his attention away from his focus on the current title battle, he says the performance gains Mercedes is finding in the wind tunnel means there is little to gain from getting an early impression of it.
“I haven’t driven the car in the sim because I’ve literally just been focusing on this one,” said Hamilton. “It’s been a hard enough workload as it is.
“But I’m in constant contact with the team. Even after our races, I’m always talking about, 'this is where our car is right now, and these are the things I want on next year’s car, keep an eye out for these things. These are the issues I have with the engine, I don’t want to see that next year, please fix it'. I’m constantly having these conversations with heads.”
Hamilton says that part of his regular post-race debriefs with the team do include discussions about the specifics of the 2022 car – including its aero balance.
“When I come away from the races, my big meetings I usually have with Shov [Andrew Shovlin], generally at the end of the week once they’ve collated all the data.
“Then, I have my meeting with Bono [Peter Bonnington], and then one with the team that are working on next year’s car, just to get an update on where they are – whether it’s heavily rearwards aero or forwards aero, what kind of ride heights we can expect, what issues are they anticipating, what challenges are they having and what they anticipate it will be like in the car.
“But right now, with the progress it’s making in the wind tunnel, there is no point driving the car because it’s on a steep learning curve.”