Seven-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton dismissed speculation about the steering of his Mercedes on Thursday and said the column was changed in Brazil last weekend after he complained about movement.
The Briton was asked about images on the internet that suggested the steering moved forward and backwards as well as left and right, triggering speculation about what might be going on.
“My steering column doesn’t move forwards and backwards,” the Briton told reporters ahead of the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.
“We had that last year, we don’t have it now. On Saturday there was a little bit of play in it, less than a millimetre probably, that I don’t like so they had to change the column and (then) there was no play.
“So I’m not really sure what you’re watching.”
Mercedes had an innovative DAS (Dual-Axis System) steering last year but that was banned after one season of use.
Hamilton won in Brazil after starting last in the Saturday sprint and 10th in the main race on Sunday. He is now 14 points behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with three races remaining.
Verstappen and Red Bull have taken a close interest in Hamilton’s car as the title battle heats up, with the Dutch youngster fined 50,000 euros ($57,000) at Interlagos for feeling the Mercedes’ rear wing element with his hands.
Hamilton happy to see fighting spirit
Toto Wolff is fired up and spoiling for a fight as his Mercedes team battle to be Formula One champions for an unprecedented eighth year in a row and Lewis Hamilton is loving it.
Wolff and rival Red Bull boss Christian Horner have cranked up the war of words off track and the Mercedes man was in full flow in Brazil last weekend on a rollercoaster of a winning weekend for his team.
“I love seeing Toto’s fighting spirit,” seven times world champion Hamilton told reporters at the Qatar Grand Prix when asked about Wolff ‘getting hot under the collar’ and whether the stress was taking its toll.
“It makes me so happy.
“There’s a shot I saw from the last race and it just made me laugh inside, it was so good.
“If he just cared less and was just chilled, it just wouldn’t be… that fire and passion is a part of our infrastructure and our ecosystem and it trickles down from him. He is the leader of the team.”