Translated, this probably means: In top form, Hamilton still dares to get more out of the Silver Arrow than his young stable mate George Russell. But at the moment Hamilton can hardly call on his strengths, not even compared to his 13-year-old compatriot.
“I still have problems with the car,” admits the seven-time champion. A tenth of a second separates the two Mercedes drivers in qualifying on Saturday. In the qualifying duel it is now 3:3 between Hamilton and Russell.
In the race, however, the newcomer to the team was usually in the lead. On points, Russell is 56:36 well ahead of Hamilton, who had to struggle with the difficult W13 throughout the first five races of the season. “I still don’t know how to stop it and what I’ll do about it. But I’ll keep trying and work hard on myself. I’ll keep pushing,” says the 37-year-old.
For the former Force India pilot, it’s only a matter of time before Hamilton flexes his muscles again: “Once Lewis gets that momentum, that’s the moment when you should be worried as a teammate. Lewis will be safe Don’t give up because he usually gets better under pressure.”
In the run-up to the weekend in Spain, the team even completed comparison drives with different underbody configurations as part of a film day in Le Castellet. In Barcelona, Hamilton stated with a satisfied expression after qualifying: “The car no longer jumps on the straights. It still bothers us a bit in the corners, we still have to improve that. But overall it’s a positive step and we’re getting closer to the top.”
Mercedes sports director Toto Wolff also sees it this way: “Of course, our aim is to play at the top and we’re not doing that at the moment. But it was okay today. Last time we were a second away, today it was six tenths,” he calculates Austrians with a view to the result.
But Wolff also points out: “In terms of qualifying pace, we are of course still miles away. In general, however, we have more of a race car than a qualifying car. I think we made a solid step forward this weekend .It’s also important to remember that our rivals have evolved while we had to stop to stop bouncing.”