Despite finishing on the podium at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton admits he’s worried that Mercedes’ latest upgrade “didn’t take us that step”.
Having debuted a B-spec W14 at the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes’ trajectory appeared to be heading in the right direction with podium results in Spain and Canada.
But with rivals also bring updates to the track in search of tenths, Mercedes had a lacklustre weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix before vowing to fight back at Silverstone.
Mercedes introduced a new front wing at Silverstone
On Saturday at least it looked as if they wouldn’t with a disappointing showing in qualifying.
Hamilton qualified down in seventh place with George Russell P6, the team-mates behind both McLaren and Ferrari drivers, and traditional pole-sitter Max Verstappen with the former emerging as Red Bull’s nearest rival at the Silverstone circuit.
Armed with their updated MCL60, a car with new sidepods which bear a striking resemblance to the Red Bull RB19, Lando Norris was second on the grid to Oscar Piastri’s P3.
Mercedes were able to fight back in the race, Hamilton elevated up the order by the timing of a Safety Car for Kevin Magnussen’s stricken Haas, while George Russell capitalised on a conservative strategy from Ferrari with the Mercedes team-mates finishing third and fifth.
They, however, weren’t a match for the McLarens late in the race despite Hamilton and Russell lining up after the Safety Car restart on the soft Pirellis with the McLaren team-mates both on the slower hard tyres.
Hamilton admits he’s worried Mercedes’ Silverstone upgrade, predominantly a new-look front wing with curved separators, didn’t improve the car’s performance.
“Yeah, definitely yesterday was not the greatest feeling at the end,” he told media including PlanetF1.com in the post-race press conference.
“I think ultimately because we’d had a really bad race, obviously, in the previous week and we knew we had an upgrade coming here, so we were all very hopeful of the step that we were going to hopefully try to take this weekend and bring us in closer.
“But to our disappointment it didn’t take us that step, unfortunately, and for us to be sixth than seventh just, ultimately, wasn’t a great feeling.
“Just knowing how hard everyone’s worked, and everyone was feeling it in the team. But I think overnight just obviously you have to turn that negative feeling into a positive, which we often do and work on our positives, which is that we had good long run pace that showed on Friday, and just get your head down.
“Yeah, but after I went down to P9 at the start, I honestly didn’t feel too good either. But I had some fun trying to come back through. And hats off to the team for our strength on the race day. And as I said, I didn’t expect to be on the podium. So this is mega to be able to share with these guys.”
Mercedes remained second in the Constructors’ Championship after the British Grand Prix where they extended their lead over Aston Martin to 22 points.