Mercedes brought a new floor to the Austin Grand Prix, which notably benefited Lewis Hamilton.
In the US Grand Prix, Hamilton found himself in contention for a victory, although he was later disqualified. However, in Mexico, he reaffirmed his strong performance, finishing second and outpacing the Ferraris.
Hamilton expressed his surprise at his performance in Mexico, especially after a challenging qualifying session where he placed sixth behind Daniel Ricciardo.
“Honestly, I just wasn’t expecting that. It’s just always a great feeling when you are just putting one foot in front of the other and progressing,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
“The weekend had been really difficult compared to the last race where we had just hit the ground running. This weekend I was really digging deep to try and get the set-up right and I think we did a great job.”
The progress of Mercedes‘ W14 car has motivated Hamilton for the upcoming season, believing he can compete for the championship again, something he hasn’t done since 2021.
He stressed the importance of having a competitive car at his disposal.
Despite recent rule changes posing challenges for Mercedes, Hamilton remains confident in the team’s ability to return to their dominant days.
He is determined to build a competitive car and is eager to compete head-to-head with Red Bull.
“I mean I am incredibly proud of my team, as I said at the end of the race, I have total faith in the team,” Hamilton noted.
“I know we can build a great car. We haven’t for the past two years but we can build a great car.”
Challenging Red Bull
Mercedes had difficulty understanding technical specifications introduced in 2022, but they have gradually made progress.
“There is a lot of engineers, no one wants to copy anybody they want to find their own way, we are progressing. But I’ve heard that Red Bull are progressing as well,” Hamilton continued.
“So, we have to be really strategic and really clinical with the moves. They know that already but in order for us to be battling those guys, they are so quick on the straight, we were losing two and a half tenths into Turn 1.
“But I believe if we can get… I’m ready, so if we can get a car that can match them, we are going to have some great battles next year.”
Returning to the championship battle won’t be easy, as Red Bull had a dominant car this season.
Mercedes is preparing for the 2024 term with high expectations, particularly with their latest package introduced in Austin, providing valuable data for the championship’s final stages.