Lewis Hamilton has set a target for his Mercedes team, wanting them to be battling Red Bull and Ferrari at the front by the field by the time the British Grand Prix comes around.
The reigning Constructors’ champions have been in what team principal Toto Wolff called a “no man’s land” of solidly having the third fastest car, which is “not acceptable” to them given their lofty standards and expectations in the team since the turbo hybrid era began in 2014.
Hamilton has continually backed his team to succeed in getting the W13 into contention at the front, praising the work that has gone on behind the scenes to try and bridge the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari – which has generally been between five and eight tenths per lap in qualifying so far in 2022.
The seven-time former World Champion has acknowledged the team are “not on the right path” at the moment, but hopes to have a successful homecoming with the legions of British fans in attendance in early July.
Next stop, Baku ⏳ pic.twitter.com/eM2k4OoLDe
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) June 5, 2022
“I hope by the time we get to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone we will have the car as we want it – to be able to fight with Ferrari and Red Bull,” said Hamilton, quoted by Speedweek.
“It would be nice if we can give them a run for their money at our home race.
“I know that work is going on tirelessly in the factory to make progress with the car. And I have no doubt we will get it right sooner or later.”
Mercedes’ main issue this season has been the ‘porpoising’ present on their car, which sees the car bounce at high speed due to the ground-effect aerodynamics dragging the car towards the track surface from the floor, which is where the car’s downforce is now generated.
Having appeared to have got the problem mostly under control in Spain, Mercedes took a backward step on that front last time out in Monaco with the unforgiving surface seeing their bouncing have a significant negative effect on their performance – but team boss Wolff does not believe it was the same kind of problem they had experienced before.
“This was not the bouncing that used to occur on the straights, under full aerodynamic load,” he explained. “That was something new and has more to do with the low-slung vehicle. The bumps in Monaco didn’t help with that.”
Mercedes currently sit third in the Constructors’ Championship, with team newcomer George Russell 34 points ahead of Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings after seven rounds.