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Mercedes Nears Podium with Improved W15

Hamilton believes a podium for Mercedes F1

07/06/2024

Lewis Hamilton foresees a near podium finish as the W15 shows marked improvements in handling and corner stability.

Lewis Hamilton expressed optimism about Mercedes F1’s chances at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, where he will also have the new front wing his teammate George Russell debuted in Monaco.

Mercedes has yet to secure a podium in 2024, with Red Bull maintaining its leadership at the top of the hierarchy throughout the first third of the season, and Ferrari and McLaren emerging as their closest challengers.

However, as F1 heads to Montreal this weekend, the scene of Hamilton’s first F1 win 17 years ago, the seven-time world champion shared his hopes that the Silver Arrows would inch closer to the front of the pack.

“The W15 continues to improve, becoming gentler with increased entry stability. These are the most significant gains so far. Everyone is obviously making strides; hopefully, we’ll be closer to the Red Bulls, but it’s really positive right now.”

“I’m incredibly proud of everyone at the factory, how hard everyone is working, everyone’s resilience, and everyone remains very focused, heads down, and the morale is really excellent in the team.”

“I hope we can get closer to these guys and start running in front.”

Asked about the possibility of a podium, Hamilton added: “I think it’s not too far off. Both cars have the upgrade this weekend, so I’m looking forward to seeing what it does on track.”

In addition to securing his first decisive win in Canada, Hamilton ties with Michael Schumacher for the most pole positions (six) and wins (seven) at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit.

“It’s kind of a street circuit, a bit like a karting track with long straights. It’s a track that’s good for late brakers, and for someone who’s aggressive on the curbs.”

“In 2007, right from the start, I loved the circuit, I integrated well, and that remains the case whenever I come here.”

“I was really living my dream, particularly during those first six F1 races, a bit incredulous, telling myself, ‘I’ve actually made it,’ and I also had podiums every weekend.”

“Ultimately, just being on the podium, with the biggest trophy and seeing my dad, how happy he was, was kind of a relief, because of all the sleepless nights, all the energy, and time the family put into this project.”

“We finally made it and it’s something we always believed throughout our joint career, that we had the capability to do something like this, and we finally realized it, so it was a very, very special weekend. It’s a weekend I’ll never forget.”

Russell sees “a step in the right direction”

George Russell is not yet satisfied with Mercedes’ level, despite the progress: “I’m not going to say it’s a breakthrough, because we haven’t made the steps forward that other teams have, like McLaren last year and Aston Martin between 2022 and 2023. We need to keep progressing, and it’s clear there’s a lot more potential than we’ve tapped.”

“We went in the wrong direction with development previously, but we’ve changed our strategy and think we’re heading in the right direction. Whether it translates into results, I don’t know, but it was clear in Monaco that it translates into performance, and we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”

“It’s competitive among the top four teams, and with very tight gaps, a tenth or two can advance you three, four, or five places in the hierarchy.”

Asked about the frustration this situation causes, Russell puts it into perspective: “I think it depends on how you look at things. If I were a bit younger and less experienced, I would find this situation very difficult and frustrating.”

“But I’ve learned that we must set our own goals, and even if it’s not a podium or a win, if you’ve achieved the maximum with your car, you should take it as a victory. If you’re not careful, you can let an external situation disturb you and spiral.”

Mercedes Nears Podium with Improved W15

Mercedes Nears Podium with Improved W15. Mercedes Nears Podium with Improved W15

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