Elliott sees ‘encouraging’ signs with Hamilton’s Canada pace

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton holds his trophy aloft. Canada June 2022.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton salutes the crowd while raising his P3 trophy. Montreal June 2022.

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott found it “really encouraging” to see the improved speed Lewis Hamilton showed in Canada, which acted as a wider indicator to the potential the W13 could have.

Hamilton earned his second podium of the season by taking third place in Montreal at the weekend, coming in behind Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.

While Mercedes acknowledge themselves that they still have a long way to go before they are able to compete with Red Bull and Ferrari for race victories, Elliott was encouraged by the fact Hamilton was able to relatively keep pace with the two frontrunners – particularly in the final laps after the Safety Car had been pulled in.

Elliott also confirmed that the team will be bringing upgrades with them to the next round at Silverstone, and analysed that Hamilton’s speed was more than a match for Verstappen and Sainz at times – though a victory was highly unlikely.

“I think it is really encouraging to see Lewis be able to tag onto the back of the front two,” Elliott said in Mercedes’ post-Canada debrief video. “I think we looked like we were in decent shape with the degradation with the tyres.

“I think, at that point of the race, it was pretty clear to Lewis that, barring some collision up front, we didn’t quite have the pace to compete and get ourselves into that fight and he would have sensibly brought the car home in the position it was in.

“If you actually look at the laps towards the end, what you will see is while he backed off for a few laps he then set a pretty quick lap on the penultimate lap, so the pace was there in the car but not enough pace to challenge for the win, unfortunately.

“I think from my point of view what’s really nice is to see a bit more pace from the car on Sunday,” he added.

“Also to find some direction, I think we are starting to understand our issues, we are starting to make strides forward.

“But we are very realistic, we’ve got our feet properly on the ground and we know we’ve got to work really hard from here.

“We’ve got to turn that understanding into parts that we can bring to make the car going quicker and we are trying to do that as quickly as we can.”