Despite finishing sixth and eighth at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton doesn’t think the weekend represented a failure for Mercedes.
The seven-time world champion qualified fifth and had to settle for sixth in Baku after being caught out by the timing of the safety car, which is his worst result of the season so far, but insists there remains a “winning mindset” within the team.
“I think we did [maximise the potential],” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “I think there was great prep before coming here, a couple of days at the factory, plenty of sim running.
“The mentality of the team is great. There’s such a winning mindset and everyone is so focused on progressing and getting to where we know we can get to. It’s just taking some steps.
“So I don’t think there were any mistakes or any lessons. I don’t think this is failure. I think this is just a build to getting to where we need to be.
“Everyone is staying positive in the garage, everyone’s just doing their job to the best of their ability and that’s all we can ask for right now until we get those upgrades which will hopefully put us much more in the fight.”
Rapid Red Bulls out of reach
Much has been made of Mercedes‘ early season struggles after sticking with the radical ‘zero-sidepod’ design philosophy.
On absolute pace, the Brackley-based outfit appear to have fallen behind Aston Martin in the pecking order, but Hamilton is hoping the W14 will perform better at Miami ahead of the highly anticipated upgrade package for the Emilia Romagna GP.
“I think we knew early on we would have quite a few races till this upgrade,” Hamilton added. “So it’s been just counting the days down or counting the weeks down.
“We don’t currently quite know exactly how good the upgrade will be but we know it will be a start of something new for us.
“But Miami we should be better, I hope it’s better pace-wise. Last year we were bouncing there a lot so I think we’re in a much better place with our car, so I hope we’re a little bit closer to the guys ahead.
“We might not be as close to the Red Bulls because they’re rapid but maybe we can fight the Astons that would be amazing.”