Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2023

Hamilton sees “step forward” for Mercedes as team beats Ferrari pair

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes team have taken a step forward with their W14 after finishing fourth and fifth in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes introduced a series of upgraded parts to their car this weekend in Monaco, with Hamilton qualifying in sixth place and being promoted to fifth on the grid thanks to Charles Leclerc’s penalty.

Hamilton gained one place from his starting position to finish fourth. Team mate George Russell followed him home in fifth, gaining three places over the course of the race.

“A good result,” Hamilton told media including RaceFans after the race. “A good improvement overall as a team.

“I think we’ve stepped forward. To get a fourth and fifth at such a tricky race like this today I think is a really great result. The team did a really solid job today with strategy. To leapfrog the Ferraris, I think was awesome.”

Hamilton admitted that the sudden rain shower that hit the circuit just after lap 50 was “very, very hard,” to manage out on the track. “There’s not even a word to explain how difficult it was,” he said.

“From my side, I just couldn’t get temperature to my intermediate tyres, so I was tiptoeing. I think our crossover [pit call] was good, it’s just I lost ground to everybody when I had to stop and it rained. So I just a bit of a disadvantage and just made it a little bit tricky. But no mistakes. Kept it on track.”

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The difficulty Mercedes have generating heat in their tyres made the wet conditions even more challenging, Hamilton admitted.

“It was very, very twitchy and my tyres weren’t working, so it’s like I was on ice,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “But then after some time the tyres started to work and it started to be fine. I was so close to going off and crashing and having a big shunt. But it was awesome.”

Hamilton says he feels Mercedes will have a much clearer idea of how much their upgrades have impacted on their performance next weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix.

“I feel like the car has progressed and it’s moved forwards,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “I think next week we’ll get a much better feel for it at a place where we can really push through all the medium and high speed corners. But I think overall it’s been a positive this weekend for us.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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16 comments on “Hamilton sees “step forward” for Mercedes as team beats Ferrari pair”

  1. Super LH44.
    Always positive.
    Thanks for being who you are.

  2. We need Mercedes (and Ferrari) to take the fight to RB. Every step forward is good for the sport.

  3. Correct, one position won on Ferrari without racing for it.

  4. I’m surprised no one mentioned this, but I opened this article simply because I don’t think he has a point here: they passed ferraris cause ferraris had to do an extra slow lap before pitting for inters, while merc went earlier, that’s the difference maker, so they relied on (yet again) ferrari’s well known strategies to beat them.

    1. MAAGALAM Harsha Vardhan
      29th May 2023, 2:49

      Well these comments are for the masses to please

    2. LH will not be happy if u say he beat ferarris due to luck, not because he is faster. LOL!

      1. How would you know that? Did he tell you?
        Why would he even talk you?

    3. I have an opinion
      29th May 2023, 7:42

      Exactly. Mercedes’ car is not better than Ferrari’s (cf. qualifying), but the strategists and the rest of the team certainly are.

    4. Thats perhaps misreading Lewis’s comments – he said the car felt like a step forwards, and separately that it was a good result for the team due to strategy (not due to the car now being faster).

      I’m not even sure we can should that was lucky given Ferrari’s, ah, reputation regarding race strategy.

    5. @esploratore1 I don’t think he’s saying anything much besides recognizing that the race result wasn’t bad. Monaco, including a big chunk in the rain, it’s impossible to tell anything really in terms of competitiveness. I expect everyone is reserving judgment on the upgrades until qualifying and the race this weekend.

  5. I think he sees it as two steps forward!

    I feel like the car has progressed and it’s moved forwards,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

  6. How is the data security here?
    I know nothing but clicking on user names to view profile MAY take you elsewhere via live link?
    Here’s another bloody one fritz
    “F1’s DNS address could not be reached”
    Then difficult to get back to RaceFans
    The other one is still there too.

  7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    29th May 2023, 15:01

    Unfortunately Russell is too good a driver for Lewis to be able to take risks. Under normal circumstances, we would have seen Hamilton perhaps try to overtake but he can’t risk losing the points and the spot.

    On the other hand, Verstappen had the luxury of hitting walls in quali and in the race which is what happens when your teammate is out in Q1 and you lap him twice. Yoohoo – the championship is already mine!!!

    1. Well, he explained that he was struggling to get temperature into the intermediates. If he would have risked, crashed and lost points, people would have been accusing him of being a fraud champion. He’s proven many times how good he is in the rain, so if for whatever reason he’s not delivering, most likely it has to do with car or tyres. Notice that Russell got near him, but eventually he faded away, while Hamilton was sticking with Ocon. So, either Russell gave up and decided to bring the car home, or Hamilton at that point had finally got the tyres to work and pulled away. George is very fast but he drives on the limit. When it works, it’s great. When it doesn’t, he crashes. Lewis seems to have a bit more safety margin and still drive fast – with a car he doesn’t connect well with.

      1. I don’t think it’s the first time George has badgered Lewis, getting on the radio to ‘point out’ he’s faster, asking whether Lewis has an issue etc., only for him to then fade away. Probably a tyre management question too. Years of having to ‘manage tyres’ before George was born (well, in F1) have trained Lewis that way. Likewise driving at the front for so long has made him more cautious about throwing away races by risking too much unnecessarily (Max is now showing something similar).

  8. He saw part of Lewis’ contract referring to himself(George) as number 2. So some excuse.

Comments are closed.