MADRID – The Mercedes team will be in high spirits for the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix on June 18 after making great strides at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, finishing ahead of their main rivals Aston Martin and Ferrari .
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen delivered another masterly performance on Sunday after starting from pole position, but Mercedes impressed many after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished second and third – the two British drivers climbing to the top first time simultaneously on the podium time this season.
Mercedes admitted the gulf between them and Red Bull remains wide, but a degree of optimism swept through the German team’s garages after the latest tech improvements to the cars showed their potential.
Due to the flooding that led to the cancellation of the Italian Grand Prix, these innovations could not be tested at Imola. These changes were made to the Monaco cars instead, but due to the unique characteristics of this stretch of road, it was virtually impossible to extract reliable data from them.
“Our hard work has finally paid off,” Hamilton said. It’s great, and all credit goes to the tireless work of the people at the factory, those who never stopped believing in it. I hope everyone at the factory is proud of our results.”
Thanks to Hamilton’s second podium of the season and Russell’s first, Mercedes edged the Aston Martin team to second in the constructors’ championship. Ferrari remains stuck in fourth place.
“George did a really 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 finished second after starting from fifth on the grid at Montmelo circuit. Russell made it from 12th on the grid to third on the podium.
“We had a great race here last year,” said Russell, who is fifth in the drivers’ standings 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 on Red Bull.
Aston Martin, for its part, had one of its worst races of the season. Spaniard Fernando Alonso – the double world champion who is third in the drivers’ standings – was content with seventh behind his teammate, Quebecer Lance Stroll.
Ferrari was also struggling and appeared to be losing ground to its main rivals. Carlos Sainz Jr. finished in fifth place while his teammate Charles Leclerc finished in 11th, preventing him from earning any points.
“Our pace was better than theirs,” said Hamilton. Together as a team we did a better job than them, making fewer mistakes and being 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, finished third in Montreal last year, behind Verstappen and Sainz Jr. respectively.
“We learn more about our car every day. “I hope that our car behaves the same as it did this weekend,” summed up the seven-time world champion. I hope that we can progress uninterruptedly from now on. Admittedly, the car will not be suitable for all tracks, but I hope that this will be the case for the next series.
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