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Lewis Hamilton has ominously insisted that Mercedes have not improved this season after their latest struggle at the Miami Grand Prix. Seven-times world champion Hamilton finished sixth on Sunday, while team-mate George Russell came fifth.
Mercedes’s W13 car has suffered performance issues ever since testing earlier this year. Hamilton’s finishes in 2022 are third, 10th, fourth, 13th and sixth.
There was plenty of discussion over whether Mercedes had improved, despite some inconsistent finishes. But Hamilton does not believe that is the case, damningly claiming that the W13 is ‘just not fast’.
The 37-year-old said: “Unfortunately not. We were the same speed as we were in the first race. We’ve just got to keep trying. We have not improved in these five races.
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“I’m hopeful that at some stage we will but we have just got to keep trying, keep working hard.
“The porpoising was not as bad in Miami – it can vary from track to track, from race to race. It wasn’t really bad in Miami … but we were just not fast.”
Hamilton has only finished ahead of team-mate Russell once this season. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff apologised over the team radio for the performance of the car after Imola.
For the first time in over a decade, Hamilton has been further back in the grid and has already ruled himself out of the world title. He said of the experience: “This is still racing … but just from a different perspective, a different point of view.
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“You are always trying to go forward but it’s difficult when you can’t go forward and are just kind of sitting. But it is what it is and it is an experience, that is for sure.”
Russell has finished ahead of Hamilton four times, including just one place ahead twice. However, he appeared to disagree with his colleague on the speed of their vehicle.
The 24-year-old told Sky Sports: “It’s good, when you battle with your team-mate you show more respect, give more space. I enjoyed it. I think there’s good respect between us. I was pushing as hard as I could.”
He added: “It was mixed feelings, based on yesterday it was a good result. We have a fast race car in there, we don’t have the key to unlock it. There’s more to do. It’s frustrating but I’m sure we’ll get there at some point.
“I didn’t really like the tarmac, what did I like? I liked that we were in Miami.”
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