Lewis Hamilton felt the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team showed solid pit stop and performance strategy at the Circuit of the Americas. The team’s performance in Austin confirmed the final step-up of the upgrade package of the season, which was introduced this weekend.
Hamilton took a strong second-place finish at the United States Grand Prix after leading the race from laps forty-one to forty-nine before a late overtake from Max Verstappen denied him his first win of the season. Running a medium/hard/hard strategy, Hamilton drove superbly as the W13 seemed to bring the pace that Mercedes had been lacking for the majority of the 2022 season.
The seven-time world champion was happy with his performance, but the drive proved to be harder than Hamilton expected upon his reflection on the race.
“I’m shattered. It felt amazing to be in the lead, but the car was a handful today. We came here with upgrades, and we closed the gap a little bit. It was so close, and I did everything I could to try and stay ahead, but Red Bull were just a little bit too quick.
“We’ve been working so hard as a Team over this year, and there are lots of positives from this race, as a team we showed great pit stop and strategy performance. I’m also happy with my performance and it was showing when we have a competitive car, I can bring it home. So we’ll keep pushing and we’ll try and give it everything we can over the next three races – it’ll come to us at some stage.”
George Russell: “Truly fighting for race wins is still the goal for us”
Team-mate George Russell, who came home in the fifth position, had an unfortunate race after an early collision with Scuderia Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr. saw him served a five-second penalty. The collision caused damage to the front wing of Russell’s car, which significantly impacted his race and he carried front wing damage for much of the race which compromised the balance and downforce of his car.
The British driver narrowly avoided retiring from the race and fought back to secure the fastest lap of the race, with he and Hamilton scoring the team twenty-nine points and closing the gap to Ferrari, who currently sits in second place, by fourteen points.
“It was a difficult afternoon for me,” said Russell, “very unfortunate, how things unfolded at the start as I don’t want to be in a position where I contribute to another driver having to retire. It’s probably the furthest we’ve been away from the midfield and the closest we’ve been to the front for quite a while so a good step forwards this weekend.
“The team back at the factory are doing a great job continuing to update the car, trying to make it a little bit lighter and understanding what we need to work on for next year and that’s where most of our focus currently is. Obviously, I want to get back on the podium, because the last time feels like an age ago.
“We had such a good run of form, but the last couple of races didn’t go well in terms of my personal performance. Truly fighting for race wins is still the goal for us. Even if we don’t achieve a race win, we want to be in a position where we have a chance to fight for the win.”