Lewis Hamilton ‘counting down days’ to Mercedes upgrades | It will be ‘start of something new’
Mercedes are set to bring upgrades to their car at Imola in May which they hope can get them back in the battle with the front of the pack; Lewis Hamilton finished the Azerbaijan GP in sixth, with team-mate George Russell eighth
Last Updated: 30/04/23 3:50pm
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is “counting down the days” until upgrades arrive that can put Mercedes “more in the fight” this season after finishing sixth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Hamilton put in a good recovery drive, pulling back several places after dropping to 10th following an early Safety Car, but still finished more than 46 seconds behind winner Sergio Perez, who led team-mate Max Verstappen home for a Red Bull one-two.
Although Hamilton cut a positive figure following the race and was “proud” of his team, he remained clear his focus is firmly on the upgrades that are set to come following the Miami Grand Prix in the hope they will bring Mercedes into the fight at the front.
“I think we did [get the most out of the car],” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
“There was great prep before coming here with a couple of days in the factory, plenty of sim running and I’m very proud of the team.
“The mentality of the team is great, there is such a winning mindset and everyone is focused on progressing and getting to where we know we can get to.
“I don’t think there are any mistakes or any failure, I think this is just the build of getting to where we need to be.
“Everyone is staying positive in the garage, everyone is just doing their jobs to the best of their ability and that is all we can ask for right now until we get those upgrades which will hopefully put us much more in the fight.
“We knew already from early on that we would have quite a few races until this upgrade. It’s just been counting the days and weeks down.
“We don’t currently quite know how good the upgrade will be, we know it will be the start of something new for us.
“Miami should hopefully be better pace wise than here – last year we were bouncing there a lot so I think we’re in a much better place with our car this year.
“I hope we’re a little bit closer to the guys there, we might not be as close to the Red Bulls because they’re rapid but if we can fight the Astons that would be amazing.”
Russell: We want to be further ahead than we are
Mercedes team-mate George Russell finished eighth in Baku and agreed with Hamilton that they had not got the optimum out of their car.
He is also looking forward to improvements over the next few races to get the team where they “want to be”.
“P5 or P8 is not where we want to be,” said Russell.
“We need to keep on pushing. I think when I look at the last few races we have done quite a good job of improving the car over the weekend.
“Looking back on this weekend the car was not in its perfect window. Same for everybody, it is a challenge, but I think we probably got the set-up in a different window than it needed to be.”