Hamilton: The most important thing is that the team makes progress

The seven-time world champion did not have an overly exciting race, but he is encouraged by the progress that Mercedes is making.
“We saw some positive signs in the performance this weekend. For the second race in a row we are bringing parts and it is very encouraging to see the progress. At the next race we will have a new front wing and then hopefully some more details. All is certainly not lost. I’m looking forward to going to Canada. I will do my best, but the most important thing is that we clearly see that the team brings more and more performance to the track”, said Hamilton.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Lewis Hamilton has every right to be skeptical about potential preferential treatment, but insists he and George Russell are being treated equally .

Hamilton raised his voice at the Monaco Grand Prix when he noted that he would never be able to beat Russell again this season – and it was further highlighted that his team-mate had a new Monte Carlo-exclusive front wing.

Although it later emerged that Hamilton turned down the opportunity to drive with the wing because he did not want to risk a pit start if he suffered an embarrassment in qualifying, the seven-time champion’s comments about Russell’s lead hinted at concerns about things not being completely even between them.

It’s a proposition that Wolff says is not grounded in reality. The Austrian claims the only time in the Mercedes era that he stepped in to influence a fight between team-mates was at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

That was when Hamilton tried to get Nico Rosberg back in the middle during their title showdown, and he was constantly being pushed from the pit wall to increase his pace.

Asked if Hamilton’s comments about Russell were a sign that there was paranoia about not getting the same treatment as he leaves at the end of the year, Wolff said: “Aren’t all drivers a bit skeptical at times?”

“I think that as a team, even in the most tense competitions among teammates, we have shown that we always try to strike a good balance, to be transparent and fair.”

“There hasn’t been a moment, apart from the 2016 Abu Dhabi GP, where we’ve tried to lead the race and we haven’t done that since.”

“I can understand that as a driver you want the best from yourself and the team, and sometimes when it goes against you, you can question it.”

“But as a team we are 100% on a mission to give the two drivers two great cars, the best possible cars and the best possible strategies and support.”

Hamilton’s relationship with Mercedes. he was in the spotlight during the weekend in Monaco, as there were several other moments when he questioned what the team had done.

There was his message: “I told you guys” about the new start in Monaco on the medium tires due to the initial start on the hard tires that Mercedes specified, and then the miscommunication that meant he didn’t give the maximum on his pace until the tire change to be in front of Verstappen after the undercut.

Wolff said the tensions in the system are just part of everyone wanting to do their best under difficult circumstances.

“We are trying to make the best of our relationship and try to maximize the results for the last season. And as always between drivers, it can be tense at times because everyone wants to do their best.”

And while Russell has a 7:1 record against Hamilton, the Mercedes boss didn’t see that as evidence that things would stay that way throughout the season.

“There is no concrete explanation for the statistic, but it is still a statistic,” he asserts. “We have seven races and 17 more to go. I didn’t see it as a trend.”

Hamilton and Russell will get a new front wing for the upcoming race in Canada as part of an upgrade the German manufacturer is launching.