Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hamilton: Mercedes has built its best car and the strongest team ever

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes are scaling new heights after leading the team’s fifth consecutive one-two finish of the season so far.

However he admitted he is still not fully comfortable with all aspects of the W10 chassis.

“Ultimately it’s a fantastic car,” he said. “The working window I’m in with my driving style, it’s not always doing what i want it to do. But it’s the best car we’ve made up until now.”

Hamilton said the team’s strong start to the season has come as a surprise and he credits it to the team’s rigorous pursuit of improvements.

“We definitely didn’t expect to come into the season and win the first five races so that’s already been an incredibly encouraging for everyone and everyone’s pushing so hard which is just great to see. It really is a phenomenal group of people here.

“Just seeing the engineers in there, no-one in there is overly confident, they’re all like just sitting there discussing what we can do better, these are things that we can improve, where are maybe some things that other teams maybe are not doing, talking about how we can improve the car.

“They don’t mind constructive criticism because in our meeting that’s what we see: ‘if we improve this area, it could be better’. They don’t take that personally or anything.

“As you can see it’s the strongest team there is, there’s ever been I think. And it’ll be very hard to break that.”

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38 comments on “Hamilton: Mercedes has built its best car and the strongest team ever”

  1. It does seem like there’s healthy competition within the various groups in the team not to be the first ones to mess something up.

    I look at the strategists, hoping they’ll blow a call. Nope, not going to happen. OK, maybe a botched pit stop then? Uh-uh. Maybe an engine failure, at least? No, that thing’s ticking along just fine.

    I know it won’t last for a long time, but right now that team is riding the crest of a wave of success like no other.

  2. :D Good. Finally Mercedes switched their tune back to reality. No more this “Ferrari is faster than us” stuff.

    1. Toto to the engineers “Guys, Ferrari has massive horsepower and top speed advantage, we are in the endgame situation now. It’s reaching the end of our V6 hybrid glory”.

    2. Never underestimate your opponent. Assume they are better than you, and strive to surpass.

      That’s why Mercedes has been on top since 2014.

  3. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
    13th May 2019, 8:33

    As an hardcore Ferrari fan, after years trying to catch up, after the illusion of being there and after 5 consecutive one-twos I can only bow and say that’s simply the truth.

    @phylyp “won’t last for a long time”: isn’t it already lasting a long time?

    Of course every era must come to an end but I fear the only thing that can stop Mercedes right now is their own satiety. Only when Toto, Lewis and probably some other person in key roles will get tired and will need new challenges this war machine will stop doing what it’s doing.

    1. @m-bagattini – the definition of “long” varies whether one is a fan of competitive racing, or one is in Mercedes footing the F1 bill ;) Also, I put those weasel words in there just to save myself in case Mercedes get utterly crushed at Monaco :)

      1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
        13th May 2019, 9:31

        @phylyp I clearly remember when Schumacher and Ferrari were dominating: it was amazing for some years, then I got tired and started skipping following races. I never missed a race before, even when Ferrari was so broken that lost pieces during the formation lap.

        1. @m-bagattini – today, we can look to the midfield for some actual entertainment. How was it back then, was there worthwhile racing going on in the rest of the field, or did Ferrari hog all the camera time?

  4. I’d suggest there’s an excellent chance that Mercedes could finally break McLaren’s record with the MP4/4 in 1988.

  5. Sad that the dodgy German company had to resort to propaganda when they feared Ferrari.
    They’ve had pretty much the best engine in F1 as long as Lewis’s career. Only Newey and Alonso have really upset them inbetween with their magic.

    1. The Ferrari engine looks at least on a par this year.
      They’ve just screwed up on the aero and/or suspension.

      1. Don’t respond to small joe.

    2. Weren’t the Ferrari’s faster In testing? Also in Bahrain? Also , people think Ferrari could have won Baku as well. Mercedes have a great car no doubt but it’s clearly not just head and shoulders better than the Ferrari . The Bigger difference imo is in the team and drivers . They’re making far fewer mistakes, fewer lost opportunities, maximizing every opportunity and capitalizing on the rivals mistakes. They beat them last year the same way .

  6. I think we’re done for, for the next couple of years (even after the new regulations take place). Mercedes are just too far away for anyone to catch up. Same will be the case for next year. I feel everyone will shift their focus pretty early to the new regs which undoubtedly Mercedes will nail again.

  7. At least there’s some good racing from 7th onwards.

    I am an F1.5 fan now. Because the F1 championship is over.

    1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
      13th May 2019, 10:26

      Nothing new under the sun though: :)
      1952: Ascari/Ferrari won all seven races (not counting the Indy 500)
      1953: Ascari was again very dominant and won five races out of eight (not counting the Indy 500)
      1954-55: enter Mercedes with Fangio&Moss… if Moss hadn’t blown his engine while leading by a full lap in Monaco, then Mercedes would have done a clean sweep in 1955 (again not counting the Indy 500)

      1. Ah yes, there have been other dominant years, but this is the 6th consecutive year of dominance by Mercedes. Not even Schumacher or Vettel had this kind of sheer dominance. Only 2 for Michael (2002 & 2004) and 2 for Sebastian (2011 & 2013)
        This is way beyond that now, and absolutely nothing will change until the engine regulations change, so this year wont be the last. The problem is that even in 2004 the FIA attempted to slow the Ferrari dominance by changing the tyre rules for 2005. When you have a company that has had so much more R&D time on these engines than anybody else, and with their current budget, no matter how much the others try and catch up, Merc will always be ahead.

        1. You are forgetting McLaren-Honda, Lotus domination of F1.

        2. I love how people describe it as ‘sheer dominance’. Ferrari had very good chances to win championships in 2017 and 2018 but they messed it up. Merc where not dominating those years, Ferrari had the stronger package in ’18. Hamilton and Merc just made the best of their chances when Ferrari dropped the ball. If you just look at the results on paper it looks like domination, but only ’14-’16 was actual domination of the opposition.

          1. You’re correct. In 17 and 18 Mercedes did not have an all conquering car. In 18 if you look at each race there was a number of races where Ferrari were easily faster yet Merc still came out on top. I believe that Toto Wolff might be the most valuable asset in the paddock right now. Whatever he is doing it’s working and they have not had the most powerful PU for some time now. I’m not saying power is everything. Just saying that it’s not like they can just rely on the PU to win all the races .

  8. Working towards a probable 6th consecutive WCC, Mercedes Benz certainly is a Juggernaut that’s difficult for most to match let alone defeat.

  9. Sonny Crockett
    13th May 2019, 10:53

    When the same team wins each race it inevitably starts to become a little boring.

    The issue this year is that the same team is taking first and second in each race. That pretty much kills the sport stone dead. Instead of looking forward to a tight race, F1 fans are having to settle for the joys of wondering which Mercedes driver will finish first and whether it will be Ferrari or Red Bull that finish third.

    Hopefully Monaco will serve as a season reset. If not then I fear the 2019 season will become of decreasing appeal as the year progresses.

    1. And this is why I love F1. May the best team win.

  10. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    13th May 2019, 12:27

    I have a lot of respect for what Mercedes have accomplished technologically but as a viewer it’s terribly dull. Obviously people will say ‘oh Schumacher & Vettel dominated in the past too!’, which is true. But five 1-2 finishes in a row is historically unprecedented; neither Ferrari or Red Bull can claim that. Red Bull won back to back titles, as did Ferrari – but for 4 & 5 years. If Mercedes take these titles that will be the sixth year of Mercedes domination and I wouldn’t bet against them for a 7th. If there’s a longer streak historically speaking I can’t think of one.

    In the last 5 years there have been 100 F1 races (ignoring this season), and Mercedes have taken pole position at 86 races and won 73 of them. That’s just 14 poles and 27 victories for a non-Mercedes team. That’s an incredible achievement! But it’s not fun to watch.

    I’m personally not a fan of Hamilton, or Mercedes as a team – so I suppose for me it is kinda draining my interest in F1 on the whole. After a while who comes third, hoping for Mercedes to slip up or what the midfield are doing just isn’t all that interesting given in the last 5 years we’ve watched teams fall out of competetiveness faster than they gain it and even when they do they almost hit a glass ceiling and don’t progress any further.

    People will say ‘oh but we must celebrate their achievement’, and ‘you wouldn’t be complaining if it was a team/driver you supported’ and who knows maybe they’re right. The distribution of wealth and balance of power of a minority over the majority is what is seriously damaging F1. How you can have the teams in 1-3 spending as though their life depended on it and other teams barely clinging on just to live.

    You can also say ‘oh it’s just up to the other teams to get on their level!’ – Great. But how? Ferrari outspend everyone AND have a veto and still can’t consistently challenge Mercedes, how is a team like Williams, or Racing Point, or even Renault meant to compete with that? Perhaps these engines are too complicated; or maybe the cars themselves need looking at – but SOMETHING rather large has to change because otherwise there’s absolutley no reason this won’t continue. Do people really enjoy watching the top six coming home in team order and everyone else fighting for scraps? No wonder F1 can’t attract strong and regular new teams when at best they’re fighting for 7th or lower, even if they’re ‘best of the rest’.

    Sport thrives on unpredictability – on not knowing the result. That generates tension and excitement. Currently can anyone realistically say Mercedes are not going to take these two titles? There’s 16 races left but after JUST FIVE we pretty much know that’s a certainty – without an act of God or something utterly and unimaginably ridiculous occuring. Honestly – if I am wrong, and by the end of the year neither Hamilton or Bottas are world champion and Mercedes lose the constructors I will be a happy man to eat my words but I cannot see that happening at all.

    This turned into more of an essay than I meant to write, apologies. I don’t know where this leaves me as a fan of the sport. I’m probably still going to watch, (and complain), but I rather miss being excited for it. I hope Liberty call some bluffs and make some widespread changes in the future.

    1. As u said u r not Mercedes or Hamilton fan so its more frustrating for u.
      But Ferrari seriously under performed in some races this season and also their drivers made some big errors which dont help. The two races where they looked competitive (Bahrain and Baku) they didnt maximize the result. Engine trouble in Bahrain and driver error in Baku cost them 2 very likely wins.
      No doubt Mercedes is looking very dominant right now but it could change as well.

      1. But Ferrari seriously under performed in some races this season

        Really?!?!? Come on, stop these ridiculous jokes!

    2. You don’t have to apologize, not for a single word. It’s utterly beyond comprehension of some people that only two teams can spend half a billion a year and that’s what gives them their ridiculous dominance (aside from the high-standard relations with the tyre supplier etc.) I’m not gonna ask them if they’re ok with 7 teams getting combined 5 podiums in the last three season, cause I don’t really care about their opinion on this one.

      So as you say, a large change. Are FIA and Liberty capable of carrying it through? They aren’t. It should be far large change than what they’re planning for 2021, so I’m not exactly optimistic. It demands quite a radical cut in the political influence and I’m afraid we’re just on the brink of renaming F1 to “Mercedes PR Championship.” It feels nearly Orwellian in a way. Everything you do, Mercedes have got it covered.

    3. @rocketpanda

      Good post. Share your sentiments.

      I guess Will Smith will make an early appearance this year, congratulating Lewis on his sixth title. Something for us all to look forward to.

  11. Just go on YouTube and watch races from the past. Under Ferrari domination ther was still a lot more racing. The refueling made evrey team strategy different. F1 completely changed the rules when Ferrari was dominating with closer races. They did the same when red bull was dominant. But now they just let it happen

    1. There has been two major rules shake up since 2014 and Merc nailed it. So they not letting anything happen it is just that Merc are able to nail it every time.

  12. Wanted to post this comment yesterday, but gave up. Now, since HAM said Mercedes built the best car, my take is: the guys who said Ferrari has the best car, best engine, their car is just as good as Mercedes’ etc etc… stop posting your ideas, it just makes you look worse than an amateur! There was a big doubt right after the Australian GP that Ferrari has the car to challenge Mercedes. It’s obvious now that Bahrain was like a one-off, just like Monaco is for RBR. RBR winning easily Monaco doesn’t mean they are title challengers.

    1. @mg1982
      Wasnt Ferrari close to winning or winning pace in Bahrain and Baku? Lec was leading by 10 seconds when he had engine issue and lost a certain win there. Again he was looking like the man to beat when he crashed during Baku qualifying so it was a driver error rather than Ferrari being slow. Had things played out just slightly differently Ferrari would have 2 wins to Mercedes 3 wins at this stage.
      Its true Mercedes dominated 3 races out of 5 so far but Ferrari are fully capable of making a comeback. There are plenty of races left.

  13. I understand the frustration for non Mercedes fans to keep watching their teams struggling behind. i understand that one driver (Lewis) rises to the top at the end of each year (bar ’16) out of 19 drivers. But that is exactly F1, as in, this is what F1 has always been about. It happens in other sports too, Swimming (Phelps), running (Bolt), football (Celtic’s have won the last 8 Scottish champions) and the list goes on. there will always be someone/team dominating.

    What I don’t understand is people blaming Mercedes for dulling the championship. What do you want them to do? Start every race at the back of the grid? ban them from all Q3 till end of season?

    Let’s overhaul the regulations and engine so to mix up the field! oh you’d be surprised that Mercedes will rise to the top lol. Unfortunately (to non-Merc fans), only your favourite teams are to blame. rally behind them, push them and pray for them.

    We Mercedes/Lewis fans, went thru these emotions during the Ferrari and Redbull years (we also complained lol) but i understand.

    1. @lums

      Audi dominated WEC and especially Le Mans 24 hours for years.
      Marquez is dominating Motogp for years now.
      Ogier is dominating WRC for years and before him Loeb did the same.
      Australia was a dominating force in Cricket for years. winning consecutive 3 World Cups spanning 12 years.

      and i am sure there would be many more examples of domination in other sports which i dont follow.

      As you said some people have problems with Lewis and Mercedes dominating F1 and would have been fine if their favorite driver and team would dominate.

  14. @lums Ok buddy, here is a pickle:

    I am no fan of any team or driver. I like pure racing and competition.
    No matter where it comes from. Which means I love the sport itself.
    Free of the prejudices and bias that come when you are one sided.
    With what you said, you just somewhat covered the people like you.

    Let’s leave other sports aside and stick to F1. Any suggestions for me?

    1. @ioannisk
      If i were to guess, i’d say you are in a minority of fans that have no bias towards any team or driver.

      My suggestion to you: Enjoy the spectacle and live your best life.

    2. Midfield battle is interesting

    3. @ioannisk

      Appreciate Merc for doing the stellar job they doing. Ferrari VS RedBull could get interesting. imagine VER VS VET . . . As @tango mentioned midfield is interesting

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