Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes that Lewis Hamilton has regained a sense of optimism amid the introduction of Mercedes’ upgrades.
Last time out at the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes enjoyed a strong race as Hamilton crossed the line in second place while team-mate George Russell was third.
Hamilton appeared to be more comfortable behind the wheel of the car during qualifying as Russell was a surprise elimination in Q2, while Hamilton went on to qualify in fifth.
Mercedes has struggled for front-running pace since new technical regulations came into play last year – but Schumacher now believes that Hamilton is feeling more positive about his team’s future.
“Lewis Hamilton seems to be getting along with the new concept a little better than George Russell and also seemed extremely happy,” he wrote in his column for Sky Deutschland.
“He seems very relieved and sees light on the horizon again that he can soon win another race and maybe still have the chance to win his eighth World title at some point.”
“I felt the optimism had left him for a while. Now it’s back.”
Red Bull has dominated all seven races staged so far and has been largely unchallenged by its rivals.
Behind the Milton Keynes-based squad, the fight for second place in the standings swung Mercedes’ way in Barcelona as it jumped ahead of Aston Martin following its double podium result.
The upgrades offered Mercedes a step forward, which came after question marks were issued following their original introduction in Monaco the week prior.
“Because they started in Monaco and couldn’t do any tests, it was a difficult and rocky road,” Schumacher added.
“The most important thing is that they understand the problem, the new concept works and with the methodology as we know Mercedes, they will soon be fighting for victories again.
“However, it is also part of the truth that Max Verstappen drove in a different world at times.
“I would say that Mercedes has overtaken Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin for now. The team isn’t that experienced and doesn’t quite have these structures yet.
“You could see it well in Barcelona. The car was okay, but not good enough. There are still some weaknesses and they were well demonstrated in Barcelona.”