Hamilton Assesses Mercedes's Position In Pecking Order Seventh Race Of 2024 Season

Monday, 20 May 2024 at 18:17
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Lewis Hamilton, who finished sixth during the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, discussed Mercedes's position in the pecking order after the race on Sunday.
Mercedes brought the second part of their upgrade, which we've seen already in Miami, to the Imola Circuit. The team has been struggling a lot this season, so there weren't very high expectations from the upgrade compared to Ferrari, for example.
Ferrari's upgrade package in Imola was probably the most anticipated this season. This package was expected to allow the team from Maranello to fight for race wins every weekend.
Although Ferrari didn't win, the team did get much closer, and Fred Vasseur even said he believed it could have been a one-two result for his team if they had qualified better.
Mercedes's upgrade might have gone a bit under the radar, but the team made some visible progress. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both reported that the car was getting better.
However, the problem is that all the rivals are also getting faster at the same time, and the German team can't quite match the pace of the top three teams at the moment.
The seven-time World Champion started the most recent race in Imola from P8, and he finished in P6- 13 seconds behind Carlos Sainz in P5 and 35 seconds behind Max Verstappen in P1.
The 39-year-old made one crucial mistake: He lost his car in turn 12 and went off the track. Hamilton estimated this cost him about eight seconds in total.
So, ultimately, the Mercedes driver might have crossed the finish line about 5 seconds behind Carlos Sainz on the upgraded Ferrari.
Nevertheless, the British driver feels his team currently is in no man's land in P4 in the Constructors' Championship. He told the media after the race:

"We got points, that's a positive. We're in the middle of no man's land. But that's a strong finish, in general, for us. I don't think there was much more to get."