Mercedes have backed driver Lewis Hamilton after the Brit suggested he needed to regain the team's confidence.

Prior to the Canadian Grand Prix Hamilton said he was "massively determined to regain everyone's confidence."

But after finishing third in Canada, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has backed Hamilton's ability.

"I don't have that feeling we lack confidence in him," he told reporters. "I think we will see great races from Lewis. I've no doubt about that."

Nico Rosberg, Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate, has been regularly outperforming the 28-year old during qualifying this season securing three poles compared to Hamilton's one.

Mercedes only have one victory to their name this season, secured by Rosberg at Monaco with Hamilton failing to finish higher than third in every race so far. However, Hamilton has been consistent and has achieved 20 more points than Rosberg in the drivers championship this year.

The former World champion admitted earlier on this season that he hasn't mastered driving the new Mercedes yet following his move from McLaren.

Wolff believes that Hamilton may have been caught unaware of the pace that his team-mate possesses.

"Maybe he has been surprised with Nico's pace.

"Now he has proven he is really quick and this came as a surprise for Lewis, but I don't think it's a real problem.

"We saw he was very strong in Canada where he was on course for pole before he missed his braking in the last sector, which was really wet."

Hamilton has been given more freedom during his time at Mercedes but Wolff doesn't think that's the reason behind his lack of wins but insists that he isn't falling short of the team's expectations.

"For sure, it's different here to McLaren," added Wolff. "We're trying to give him freedom, but I don't think it's the reason why he hasn't performed up to his expectations, although he has performed up to ours.

"Nico obviously had a great run. He showed he is a top guy and a top driver, and it's been the best situation for our team.

"But I don't think there is any specific reason at this stage to say he has a problem or is struggling severely.

"It is also still early in the season for him and he is just beginning with the team, whereas Nico has been here for a couple of years."

 

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Formula 1