Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said that it’s too early to be talking about a revived title challenge on the back of improved performance at the Spanish GP, but he did say that the car showed good pace last weekend.
Formula 1 is in Monaco this weekend for round 7 of the world championship and we have a new leader in the standings with Max Verstappen overtaking Charles Leclerc after the latter saw a power unit issue chuck him out of the Grand Prix in Spain from the lead.
Hamilton, meanwhile, has been off of the pace in terms of the championship leaders with the Mercedes W13 proving a problem child, though it appears signs of improvement are beginning to shine through with the car looking much stronger in Spain.
Indeed, George Russell finished third last Sunday whilst Hamilton took fifth after a fine recovery drive from the rear of the field, and he will be hoping to see more of that this weekend around the streets of Monte-Carlo.
Ahead of the weekend, he was asked by Tom Clarkson in the FIA press conference whether he felt even a title challenge could yet be revived this year on the back of their improvement, then, but Lewis said it might be too early to think about that:
“I don’t know. It’s too early to say, we know there’s potential in the car and we tapped into it in the last race. This is a very different track so I’m hoping it’s not up and down from race weekend to race weekend.”
Lewis did say, though, that the pace was good, even if it’s going to be hard to predict how they do in Monaco.
“It’s all ifs and buts but we definitely have good pace.
“We definitely weren’t expecting it, we were hoping to be close to the Ferraris but Charles’ pace was ahead of everyone. I didn’t expect to come from so far behind.”
Hamilton said back in Imola that his title chances were over but with reliability issues hitting both Max and Charles already this season, and the Mercedes at least looking bulletproof, there’s still time for things to turn around.
That would be some effort, though, and instead Mercedes are surely just thinking about becoming race winners once more before doing anything else.