Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2023

Mercedes going “all hands on deck” to beat Ferrari to second – Hamilton

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes team are working flat-out to ensure they finish ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

Mercedes sit second in the standings but are just 22 points ahead of their rivals with three rounds remaining in the season.

Hamilton has finished second over the finish line in each of the last two grands prix in Austin and Mexico last weekend – although was disqualified from the results of the US Grand Prix for excessive plank wear, along with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Asked how he felt he and Mercedes would fare this weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix – a race they won last year – Hamilton admitted he wasn’t sure where Mercedes would fit in the pecking order at Interlagos.

“I don’t really know,” he said. “I expect the Red Bull to be very fast. It always seems to work pretty much everywhere – except for Singapore – and we expect the Ferraris to be quick.

“I hope that our car works well here like it did, for example, in Austin but you can just never predict – it could be bad, it could be good. So we’re just trying to prepare the best way we can.”

Hamilton started behind the Ferraris in Mexico, who locked out the front row, but got ahead of both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr in the race into second place. Hamilton said he expects a close battle with Ferrari over the final three rounds over second place in the championship.

“It’s a really fun, enjoyable battle we’re having,” Hamilton said. ”

“These guys [Ferrari] did a great job in qualifying for the last race but fortunately we were able to leapfrog them. But I think it’s going to be close in these last three races. So it’s going to just take all hands on deck to stop these guys.”

Last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, won by George Russell, was one of only two rounds that Red Bull have failed to win over the last 12 months. World champion Max Verstappen says that his team are hoping to avoid falling into the same set-up hole as last year during the sole practice session of this final sprint round of the season.

“Last year we didn’t have a great race weekend here,” Verstappen admitted. “The sprint format makes it quite difficult to straight away be on top of things.

“We had a few ideas why last year was not that great, but we have one practice session to make sure that it’s better this year. I think there’s a lot of high deg[radation] here and the way you have to set up the car, a lot of low speed corners. I don’t think our cars particularly, let’s say, amazing in the low speed corners, so I guess we’ll find out.”

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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...

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4 comments on “Mercedes going “all hands on deck” to beat Ferrari to second – Hamilton”

  1. it ought to be good for them that Mercedes are getting good correlation now. It’s pretty huge that if they want to change something with the FP1 findings they can’t test it in an FP2 they just have to race with it. So sprint weekends really make the infrastructure crucial. I think this is what sank Mike Elliott really, that he relied on it too much and it wasn’t as complete as he thought

  2. Coventry Climax
    3rd November 2023, 11:48

    So they didn’t have all hands on deck until now? Something to do with the budget cap or what?

    Or has he been too busy with his action movie. There’s always a pursuit scene in there, where they go flat out already, but the hero suddenly -and quite ridiculously- manages to press the pedal down even further yet.

    1. This is Spinal Tap, amp to eleven

  3. This should be Mercedes’ last shot at taking a win this season. Its a sprint format, so there’s always scope for things to not go according to plan for Red Bull. Plus, Mercedes seem mega at understanding this circuit, at least in the last two seasons. If they seem to have found a good direction with their floor, it should be a fun race to watch. Hopefully, a Max vs Lewis battle upfront.

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