Hamilton: Mercedes getting closer but W15 now ‘at its maximum’


Lewis Hamilton believes that Mercedes' W15 contender has reached its maximum in its current configuration and will require more upgrades to inch closer to its front-running rivals.

The seven-time world champion achieved in Spain his first podium of 2024 after a spirited drive that landed him in third position at the checkered flag.

However, Hamilton clocked in over 17 seconds behind Red Bull winner Max Verstappen and McLaren runner-up Lando Norris, a gap that attests to the progress that still needs to be accomplished by Mercedes.

Nevertheless, a delighted Hamilton admitted that it was a "big boost to finally get a good result".

“We're slowly getting closer," he commented in the post-race press conference. "Last year, we were very fast here, so you have to take it with a pinch of salt, but obviously the last couple of races we've been relatively competitive.

"So, I think we have closed the gap a little bit, but we still have a good couple of tenths to try and find. We just have to have all hands on deck and keep pushing."

However, Hamilton felt that Mercedes would be hard-pressed to fill the gap that subsists with the front of the pack without further developing its car.

“I think that's the maximum it's got at the moment,” he said.

“But I mean we’re always fine-tuning it with subtle changes that we make. But we need to bolt some stuff on, some extra bits to be able to compete with these guys.”


Hamilton noted that while Mercedes’ W15 retains its “peaky” trait and still only responds to a single set-up, his performance has become more consistent.

"Our pace is where we were, basically – third or fourth this weekend," he said.

"But I think our car is generally quite peaky and that means that it's often out of balance. It's very rare that it's in balance and it's nice and smooth through a corner.

"So, set-up – I've obviously experimented a lot with set-up over the last couple of years, but the car doesn't really like any of the set-ups but one.

"It's slowly starting to become nicer to drive,” he added. We’re definitely getting more consistent.

“And if I can just get my qualifying to be like this weekend, then it makes stuff so much easier. Also if you get a good start.

“But my Saturdays have been so bad for the last 15 races. So it’s good to have a clean weekend. And hopefully this puts us in a good position to challenge in the next few races.”

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