Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is more united than he has ever known in his five years at the team as it responds to the challenge from Ferrari this season.
After a difficult Monaco Grand Prix that saw Ferrari secure a one-two and Mercedes fail to finish on the podium, Mercedes hit back with first and third during qualifying in Canada. Hamilton’s pole position lap was a stunning effort that saw him equal Ayrton Senna’s number of poles, a lap the Briton described as “as close as I could get” to perfect.
Asked by RACER how much the fight with Ferrari is pushing him to produce his best as a driver, Hamilton replied: “I would say my opinion is that it is a little bit more so for us because we are having a car that is not working everywhere.
“It’s a great car but it’s a trickier car to set up than the cars I’ve had in the past. It appears from the outside that the Ferrari is easier – while they are working hard, it works everywhere it seems. If they are staying level and we are up and down all the time, for sure it puts a lot of emphasis on us pulling together more than ever and as a team we are closer and more united than we have ever been.
“Utilizing every engineer to the absolute max and utilizing everyone’s abilities as a team. In the five years I have been with this team I’ve never seen such great teamwork and communication. We are all just talking more than we have ever done.
“It’s great to be able to see the fruits of that hard work. It’s not just chatting for nothing. It’s going to continue to be a tough, tough, tough race with the Ferraris, because they are so strong – but [in qualifying] we have shown we can have an answer if we put the work in.”
Despite outqualifying Sebastian Vettel by over 0.3s on Saturday, Hamilton expects a closer battle in today’s Canadian Grand Prix.
“I believe it will [go down to the last lap], being that we are so close. Ferrari have great single-lap pace but very, very strong always, as they have shown in the races. It was a close battle last year between us and I can only imagine that it’s going to be pushing all the way to the end. It’s definitely going to be a good one. I’m excited about it.”