Undoubtedly, Mercedes showcased their season-best performance in France on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished P2 and P3. The Silver Arrows secured their first double podium of the year, taking a total of 33 points home. Mercedes brought some upgrades in Paul Ricard in an attempt to boost their performance and compete with red bull and Ferrari for a race win. However, the two Mercedes drivers clearly struggled with the W13’s pace and were eight tenths off the pace from the pole position time set by Charles Leclerc. Hamilton started the race at P4 while Russell was at P6. The seven-time world champ reacted quite swiftly during the opening seconds and managed to get up to P3 with Sergio Perez following him closely.
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen and Charles battled for the lead at the front. Sadly, the Monegasque lost control of his car and crashed during lap 18, triggering a safety car. Verstappen took the race lead while Hamilton moved to the second spot and eventually finished the race at P2. Hamilton had the advantage of fresh hard tyres over Verstappen after the restart. However, the Briton could not match Red bull’s straight-line pace and finished ten seconds after the Dutchman.
Lewis Hamilton Reveals Verstappen Was “Too Fast”
Talking to Motorsport.com, Hamilton shared that Max was just too fast, and the Briton could only stay with him for a couple of laps. Lewis revealed that he was pushing the car down the straight with full throttle, and still, Verstappen managed to pull away. He pointed out that the biggest deficit for his team on Sunday was in terms of straight-line pace. Hamilton also reckoned that he kept losing three or four tenths on the straight, and there was nothing much he could do about it.
Thus, Hamilton stated that his team needed to improve their straight-line pace for the future. Moreover, if he had pushed his W13 any harder, he might not have been able to end the race in the same position. The Briton added, “So I had to also keep in mind keeping the car in one piece and keeping the tyres there. This is the best result we could get.”
Moreover, Hamilton said that he and George did not expect to be second and third in France. He revealed that it was his highest finish this season, and hence, it was a huge day for Hamilton. The Briton was looking forward to taking this positive energy into Budapest for the next weekend.
Hamilton Reckons Mercedes Need To Work On Their Single Lap Performance
Mercedes have been the third-fastest team throughout the season. They have made some great lunges to move forward in terms of performance. However, they are still far off from Red Bull and Ferrari. But, a series of consistent podiums in the last five races has allowed Mercedes to close the gap to Ferrari in the constructors’ championships to 44 points.
Hamilton further shared that Mercedes were lacking the single-lap pace. However, he was pleased that the gap to Verstappen, in the end, was just ten seconds. Lewis said that Mercedes’s recent performance is progress even though they have failed to close the gap in qualifying performances. Hamilton also believes that his team needs to keep pushing every weekend and hope to get a little bit closer to a race win. The Briton concluded, “This weekend, we somehow weren’t close as we hoped, but Verstappen was only ten seconds up the road, so that’s positive.”