Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ performance in the Chinese Grand Prix weekend shows they are now F1’s second-quickest team at best.
They reigning world champion qualified and finished fourth in Shanghai. Ferrari out-qualified both Mercedes and Red Bull won the race.
“So we are second, third fastest team at the moment. We’ve got some improving to do, but that’s not impossible.”
Mercedes hasn’t won any of the last three races which is their longest win-less streak since the V6 hybrid turbo rules were introduced in 2014. Hamilton said he will keep applying pressure on his team to improve.
“I think what this team has shown over the years is we’re great at staying united and continuing to keep working,” he said. “Everyone here and back at the factory is just going to keep working as hard as possible. We’ve got a lot of information over the last couple of weeks.
“I certainly also am pushing very hard James Vowles and James Allison, Niki [Lauda] and Toto [Wolff], trying to encourage them so they know which areas of the car we’re struggling the most with so they can really apply pressure in those departments and make sure we’ve got more developments coming. Got to keep constructive pressure on the guys. But they’re already pressured, they want to win just as much as all of us. ”
Hamilton closed within nine points of championship leader Sebastian Vettel in Chain but predicts a tough fight to retain his title.
“Who knows what the season holds. If it continues the way it is it’s going to be very tough to win. But if there is an opportunity, we were to finish on top, it would mean even more, because it’s an even tougher season than before.”
Don't miss anything new from RaceFans
Follow RaceFans on social media:
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year