Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes made a big enough step forward in the British Grand Prix that it is “not far away” from being able to fight for victories this year.
Mercedes has struggled with the 2022 car concept and getting it to run competitively on a regular basis, but has been much closer to Ferrari and Red Bull on smoother, high-speed tracks such as Barcelona and Silverstone. After being in the fight for victory on Sunday and setting the fastest lap on the final lap as he finished third, Hamilton says the way Mercedes has developed its car is bringing it back into the mix.
“For a good period of time, I was matching the Ferraris’ pace, and even better at some stages,” Hamilton said. “And we got the quickest lap at the end, for example — I don’t think we’ve been able to do that this year.
“We had an upgrade this weekend and I think the race pace was definitely improved. That’s been our strongest part of our car, I think, this year in general. But it’s definitely helped us get a little bit closer. I don’t think we’re in a winning position yet, but we’re not far away.”
While Mercedes has tended to struggle on street circuits and bumpier tracks, Hamilton says the way the team has moved forward in recent weeks — including in Canada where he was also third — shows it can become a stronger all-round challenger.
“I’ve definitely had years in my career where I haven’t had wins for a period of time. But the progress that we’ve made over the past couple of races has definitely given us hope that there’s more to come. There is potential in this car and we just have to keep doing our due diligence, keep our heads down and stay focused and not give up.”