Hamilton Says Merc Is Fighting For Survival
The Brit finished in a disappointing 14th place in the weekend’s Imola Sprint at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, while teammate George Russell failed to do much better by finishing 11th.
Hamilton’s “ruling out” comes only four races into this year’s F1 season.
A Weekend Of Disappointments
Hamilton started the 21-lap contest in 13th position, but soon dropped two places during an action-packed 1st round. He was ultimately only able to regain a single position to 14th place by the time the chequered flag appeared.
George Russell, too, spent most of his time struggling around the bends. He failed to improve from his starting position of 11th place, which led to the Mercedes pair starting at the back of the grid on Sunday’s final skirmish.
Max Verstappen, meanwhile, managed to turn his season around by making a successful late pass past Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and thereby securing pole position.
But Saturday’s disheartening performance proved a mere continuation of what fans have seen from the Silver Arrows this far. The eight-time reigning constructors’ champions are experiencing extreme porpoising issues with their W13. This continues to leave them lagging far behind the pack and falling severely short of a starting position at the front of the grid.
Hamilton Says Hard Work Must Pay
According to Hamilton, despite the team’s current failures, a great deal of hard work has been going on in the factory. He said while things have not been going the Silver Arrows’ way this season, the technical team continues to push at improving the car.
The Brit also said that while the team isn’t currently in the running for another world title, what they’re fighting for right now is a better understanding of the car, and on finding ways to rectify the current problems faced.
Hamilton said every weekend this season so far has been a situation of rescue instead of contention. He did however add that he felt fully confidence in the team’s ability to overcome its current challenges.
Russell’s A Hopeful Voice
Russell, too, admitted to a disappointing start to the season.
Mercedes launched into the Sprint at Imola after a competitive practice session, with Russell at the top of the timesheet. But this performance had been made null and void by the lack of pace in terms of straight-line speed.
Russell described the Sprint races as “tricky”, with not enough length to work towards tyre degradation in order to bring about a marked difference between the various drivers and cars.
He added that the main order of business right now is to try and get on top of things and regain their relevance as a championship-winning team.