Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton – “We’re going to be continuing to breathe down their necks and we’re going to get that win”

3 Mins read
Credit: Steve Etherington

It was a much-improved race weekend for Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team for round 15 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Dutch Grand Prix but the team come away from it disappointed that they didn’t walk away with their first win of the season.

Lewis Hamilton was leading a large part of the race and had committed to a one-stop strategy with the rest of the grid on a two-stop but two safety car incidents lost him that lead. His teammate George Russell got his sixth podium of the season after he overtook the seven-time world champion for second position.

Hamilton was hoping for his first win of the season as he looks to win a race in his 11th consecutive year in the sport but it wasn’t to be today.

“Today we were really challenged with the VSCs and Safety Cars. I think the strategy and the car had been so good up until that point, the pit stops were fantastic, the best I think we’ve had all year and it was really geeing me up. Especially after such an up and down year, we’ve not had a win since Saudi Arabia last year. So, it was finally there, within our grasp but of course then the safety car really didn’t help.”

“But the guys were really, really on it, we were all on it and I really was hopeful that we were going to get a 1-2 together as a team. But given how it played out after the final safety car and dropping back”

The British driver had stern words with his team over the radio, but later apologized for the comments as the team was in a difficult situation.

“I was just on the edge of breaking point with emotions and my apologies to the team because I don’t even remember what I said over radio, I just lost it for a second. But I think they know that there is just so much passion and I want to look at today as a glass half full – we came here struggling from the last race and we were fighting against the Red Bulls today, we were quicker than most at many points.”

“Without the safety car I think we’d have been challenging them for the win at the end on the one-stop which I don’t think the others could do. So many great things to take from this weekend – the car was finally working. If this can be the same in the future races, we’re going to be continuing to breathe down their necks and we’re going to get that win.”

George Russell – “We’re here to win”

Credit: LAT Images

Hamilton’s teammate George Russell had better luck today, finishing second for his sixth podium of the season after making a decision to pit for fresher soft tyres, which allowed him to overtake Hamilton.

It’s been an incredible reception here, a really special feeling for all of us drivers to come racing in Zandvoort and in Holland. As a team we showed incredible pace today, I know the team result wasn’t quite what we hoped for, but this gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of faith going forwards. It’s incredible to see three different teams on the podium and we as Mercedes are slowly getting closer to that top step, so let’s keep on pushing.

Not an easy decision for the team to make with the final safety car – when you’re in front with track position, you’ve got a shot to go for the win which is what we did. But this is what we as Mercedes are here to do, we’re here to win. And the 2000 people back in the UK, at Brackley and Brixworth, are all working to get us that win, so today we took a decision to give us the best chance of that.

Russell is happy with Mercedes progress but believes they need to qualify better in order to challenge at the top.

Our qualifying performance yesterday probably cost us most this weekend because if we were on the second row, I think we’d have been fighting even more for the win. But from race one in Bahrain, being a second off, to this weekend and having the fastest race car is incredibly impressive and everyone in the team should be very proud.

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