Lewis Hamilton lauds Mercedes turnaround and makes Canadian GP prediction

The 39-year-old has changed his tune after noticing a huge effort from his team to eradicate issues with the W15 car.

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Lewis Hamilton has offered a more positive outlook for Mercedes ahead of the Formula 1 2024 Canadian Grand Prix this weekend, suggesting the Silver Arrows are closing the gap on Red Bull and Ferrari at the front.

The seven-time world champion showed some signs of recovery at the Monaco GP a fortnight ago, labelling Friday’s practice as the “best day” of the campaign. He also kept apace with Max Verstappen for the majority of the race before finishing seventh behind the championship leader .

Arriving at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal – a track where Hamilton has been victorious seven times – the veteran racer believes Mercedes are finally making progress in their development to take them back to the front of the grid.

“The car’s continuing to improve. I think everyone is obviously taking that step closer to the Red Bulls and I think that’s been really positive,” Hamilton told select members of the the press in Canada, including Total-Motorsport.com.

Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images
Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

“I’m incredibly proud of everyone back to the factory, just how hard everyone’s working and how resilient everyone is. Everyone’s just staying very focused [with their] head down. The morale is really great in the team, so I’m hoping that we can get closer to these guys [Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren] and start actually competing at the front with them.”

When asked by F1 presenter Tom Clarkson if a podium finish was possible this weekend in Montreal, Hamilton replied: “I don’t think it’s far away. Both cars have the [front-wing] upgrade this weekend. So I’m looking forward to seeing how that feels actually on track.”

Hamilton changes his tune

It would be a positive sign for the German manufacturer, who have plummeted into the midfield while Red Bull having been fighting Ferrari and McLaren for places on the podium. With that in mind, Hamilton may feel vindicated in his decision to sign for Ferrari in 2025 as he is yet to finish in the top five this year.

The team’s failure to adapt to the aerodynamic regulations, which first arrived in 2022, has left Toto Wolff frustrated and Hamilton without a victory in his last 50 race starts.

However, steps have been taken to reduce the car’s ‘bottoming’, which is when the car bounces up and down due to the aerodynamic design, and Hamilton can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“The biggest improvement coming into this year has been ride quality, to able to get the car lower, which is what others have been able to do,” Hamilton added. “And then stability on entry to corners.

“The car’s far more predictable than it ever was, particularly the last couple of years and particularly this year, it’s a lot more stable so it can be more committed into the corners. But then through corner balance is where we’ve been lacking, whereas some of the others have really taken a big step, so that’s what we’re trying to work on.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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