Lewis Hamilton has joined teammate George Russell in proclaiming that second in the Constructors’ Championship would be a ‘huge achievement’ for Mercedes.
Having been the dominant force of the V6 turbo-hybrid era, Mercedes is yet to recover from a conceptual misstep that has led to a two-season-long slump in performance.
The Silver Arrows introduced its ‘zeropod’ philosophy in 2022 but has since abandoned the project with the introduction of a B-spec W14 at this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
An upturn in results has since followed, with Mercedes assuming second in the Constructors’ standings after a slowing of momentum from the fast-starting Aston Martin. The German marque now holds a 51-point advantage over third-place going into the Dutch Grand Prix.
“I think it’s a huge achievement, and I think it’s something that I feel has been a little bit overlooked, if I’m really honest,” Hamilton said.
“More focusing I guess, only because we want to win, there hasn’t I would say been the most positive narrative. But I’m really proud of the team, the progress and the steps we have taken with the car, from feeling like an almost identical car to last year, to making all the changes that we have.
“There are some small adjustments we are making moving forwards over these next couple of races. We have some small bits added to the car this weekend, every point of downforce, every little bit that we had makes a difference.
“So I’m super grateful to everyone back at the factory for continuing to push, even through the hard times, and just staying focused knowing that we will, with the belief that we will get there at some point.
“Just to keep [up] the good work. For us to be second in the constructors’ championship, considering how others have started this year, like how McLaren are doing with their big turnaround, Aston who came out of the blocks really great, I think it’s pretty amazing, and that’s down to all these amazing people back at the factory, and the crew that we have here.
“Also, the drivers aren’t doing a bad job! And you know, my goal is to try and make sure the team keep that second place in the championship, and try and hunt down second in the drivers’ championship, that is my goal.”
While Mercedes tries to take the positives from holding the runners-up position, the team’s season tally is overshadowed by its deficit to runaway championship leaders Red Bull.
When asked for a response, Hamilton replied: “We don’t have a rule change coming up, so I hope that’s not going to be the case is.
“But the fact is they are ahead, and most likely have been developing next year’s car already a month before everybody else as they’re 100, 200 points ahead in the championship, so it’s very very possible that Charles could be right.
“But we’re working on the steep gradient trying to develop, and get ourselves to close the gap. Whether or not we can next year will be proof within that, I hope we can.”