Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2023

Hamilton hoping the gap to Red Bull “isn’t a second” in Melbourne

2023 Australian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lewis Hamilton is hoping Mercedes can get within a second of Red Bull this weekend after the reigning world champions dominated the first two races of 2023.

His team mate George Russell qualified over six tenth of a second off pole winner Sergio Perez at the last race in Jeddah. Hamilton lined up seventh on the grid having lapped over a second away from the pace. During the race Red Bull pulled away from their rivals by more than a second per lap at times.

Hamilton admitted his team mate had done a better job of perfecting the set-up of the team’s W14 chassis at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

“If you look at the last race, I think it was a decent result given the distance and the pace disadvantage we had in qualifying,” he told Sky. “Obviously George did a fantastic job all weekend, put the car exactly where it needed to be. I struggled a little bit with the balance that I had.”

Mercedes achieved a good result at the last race given the pace they had, said Hamilton. “We still managed to get fourth and fifth and we’re second in the constructors championship at the moment. We beat the Ferraris, who have definitely started with a better package than we have.”

Hamilton said it will take time for Mercedes to close the gap to their rivals and will have to rely on the conditions favouring them in the meantime.

“We’ve got a great group of people that are working really hard back at the factory that are trying to fix the issues that we have. It’s not something that’s going to happen in one race, it’s going to take a few races, hopefully as short as possible to get there.

“But this weekend, I think I’m just hoping for some rain, if I’m really honest, because I would make it a little bit more exciting for us from my point of view. I’m just hoping the gap isn’t a second and I hope that we can just hit the ground running with the set-up.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Australian Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Australian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

7 comments on “Hamilton hoping the gap to Red Bull “isn’t a second” in Melbourne”

  1. Aston Martin is second actually on countback.

  2. His or George’s?

    1. Touche!

  3. He could start with not trusting his own analytical and math skills. He is presenting the situation worse than it actually is which might not be good for his own motivation. Earlier statements made, about RB having a pace advantage bigger than Mercedes have had in the past, have already been disproved. Chin up, move on! Over 19 other drivers have had this situation for the last decade.

    1. have already been disproved

      After two races?! And the fastest Red Bull driver’s car had mechanical issues from q3 on in the second? So basically one race? Where they probably eased off given they were so far down the road? Not saying Red Bull do have a bigger pace advantage. However there’s not enough evidence yet and – big issue – other teams have much less chance to make the gap up now. So 1.5 seconds or 0.5 seconds, if there is little development happening, Red Bull will still be well clear (presuming they can make their own improvements over the season too).

      1. I understand your point, but this then goes two ways if it is too early to tell.

    2. I don’t think we have seen Red Bull show there true pace so we don’t really know the real difference in pace advantage between the two. Plus it’s two completely different cars. Maybe the Mercedes did have a clear pace advantage in clear air but the current Red Bull looks quick in clear air and in traffic.

Comments are closed.