(Madrid) The Mercedes team will be fired up at the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada on June 18, having made giant strides in the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend and finished ahead of their main rivals, Aston Martin and Ferrari.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen delivered another masterful performance on Sunday after starting from the pole position, but Mercedes impressed many after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell took second and third places — both British drivers thus climbed on the podium at the same time for the first time this season.
Mercedes admitted that the rift between them and Red Bull remains significant, but a certain amount of optimism was blowing through the German team’s garages after the latest technical upgrades to the cars showed their potential.
These innovations could not be tested at Imola due to the floods which led to the cancellation of the Italian Grand Prix. These changes were instead made to the cars in Monaco, but due to the unique peculiarities of this road course it was virtually impossible to derive reliable data from it.
“Our hard work finally paid off,” Hamilton said. It’s great, and all the credit goes to the tireless work of the employees at the factory, to those who never stopped believing in it. I hope everyone takes pride (in our results) at the factory. »
By virtue of Hamilton’s second podium this season, and Russell’s first, Mercedes have moved past the Aston Martin team to second in the constructors’ championship. Ferrari is still stuck in fourth place.
“George did a very good job, which allowed us to maximize our points collection,” explained Hamilton. We have to build on that. It was huge for us to be faster than Ferrari and Aston. »
Hamilton took second after starting from fifth on the grid at the Montmelo circuit. Russell moved from 12th at the start to third on the podium.
“We had a great race here last year,” said Russell, who is fifth in the drivers’ championship, just behind Hamilton. The next few races will be crucial for us to see if we can keep up the pace and close the gap behind Red Bull. »
For its part, Aston Martin had one of its worst races of the campaign. Spaniard Fernando Alonso – the double world champion who occupies third place in the drivers’ championship – settled for seventh position, behind his teammate, Quebecer Lance Stroll.
Ferrari also had a tough time and seemed to be losing ground to their main rivals. Carlos Sainz Jr. finished fifth, while teammate Charles Leclerc finished 11th, denying him any points.
“Our pace was better than theirs,” Hamilton said. Together, as a team, we did a better job than them, made fewer mistakes, and were efficient in every track session. »
Mercedes’ next challenge will be to confirm the true potential of its innovations at the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks. Hamilton, who has not triumphed since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021, took third place in Montreal last year, behind Verstappen and Sainz Jr., respectively.
“We are learning more about our car every day. I hope our car will behave the same way as this weekend, summed up the seven-time world champion. I hope that from now on we can make uninterrupted progress. Admittedly, the car will not be suitable for all circuits, but I hope that will be the case for the next series of races. »