Mercedes has clearly shown it is closing the gap to the top two teams this season given its results before the summer break, according to Lewis Hamilton.
After a tough start to 2022, Mercedes has regularly been a long way adrift of Ferrari and Red Bull and unable to battle for podiums and victories without reliability issues for those ahead.
Since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix onwards, however, Mercedes has finished on the podium in every race, with the final two rounds in France and Hungary yielding double podiums, Hamilton finishing second each time.
“The other guys still have a bit of an edge but we’re clearly closing the gap,” Hamilton said. “And this is just an amazing way to go into the break knowing that we have this performance. Hopefully, we’ll bring some more into the second part of the season and start fighting with the guys up front.”
And Hamilton believes the last race offered Mercedes its first real opportunity for victory, as he suggests the team has nearly pulled level with Ferrari when it comes to race pace.
“I think [in Hungary], there was a potential for a win. You saw George on pole. I think if we had both been up there, I think we probably could have worked a bit better together as a team. One of us would have had to support each other strategy-wise.
“But I think if we are able to take this pace into the second half of the season for sure we can start to fight with the guys. This is the first time we’ve been able to fight and battle with a Ferrari. That’s huge for us.
“I think the Red Bulls probably still are ahead. The fact that Max started 10th and spun and still was 10 seconds ahead says enough about their car but I think we still have made huge progress and huge steps.
“So to have this consistency and two double podiums in these last two races gives us great hope and a huge push for the second half.”