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Mercedes W15 is “a automotive that we are able to struggle with”

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Russell demonstrated the potential of the brand new W15 by qualifying third for the season-opener in Bahrain, whereas Hamilton was left a pissed off ninth after set-up modifications didn’t work in his favour over one lap.

Nonetheless, the seven-time world champion stays optimistic in regards to the automotive’s potential for Saturday night’s race.

“Very, very robust qualifying session,” mentioned Hamilton. “It is wonderful to see how shut everyone seems to be. I believe George’s place is an actual testomony [to] simply how wonderful the job is [that] everybody’s executed on the manufacturing facility, and [they have] lastly given us a automotive that we are able to struggle with.

“I simply wasn’t in a position to utilise that right now once I made that set-up change. I put one thing on the automotive that we have not placed on for the final two years.

“And I hoped that it will be okay. And I simply caught with it. I used to be like, I am simply going to keep it up. And yeah, it wasn’t good to drive.”

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Requested by Autosport how excited he’s in comparison with 12 months in the past – when it was shortly obvious that the W14 was not the step it was anticipated to be – he admitted that the session had been irritating given what ought to have been attainable.

“I imply, on this second, I am ugh…!” he mentioned. “For the primary qualifying session to be as poor as that…a lot preparation went into this right now, after which it did not go the best way it ought to.

“However that is racing, however by way of the season, for certain, to know that now we have a package deal that we are able to doubtlessly struggle with is absolutely pleasing.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 Group, is interviewed after Qualifying

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Hamilton is adamant that the automotive represents a very good place to begin from which to construct for the remainder of the season.

“The automotive is absolutely improbable,” he mentioned. “It is actually an actual large enchancment from earlier years. Much more secure, much more enjoyable to drive.

“However we nonetheless have work to do, as you possibly can see, however for George to be three-tenths off Purple Bull – or off Max [Verstappen] – is unimaginable. It exhibits what’s attainable.

“And I believe we have simply received to actually simply proceed so as to add efficiency. And I imply, if that is our platform from right here, we are able to positively chase by the remainder of the season.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff mentioned the staff had taken a distinct strategy to this season.

“In a manner now we have thrown away this mindset of we have received eight instances, why are we not doing it now?” mentioned the Austrian. “We’re merely the underdog, we received it incorrect two years in a row.

“And now now we have a automotive that’s extra to our liking. And let’s construct it up from right here. And I am certain that is going to occur.”

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