Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes have two chances left for 2023 victory

Lewis Hamilton is expecting Mercedes to "take the fight" to Red Bull in Mexico and Brazil.

Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix and next weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix are Mercedes’ final chances of winning this season, something he came close to doing last Sunday prior to his disqualification.

The seven-time World Champion was quick throughout last weekend’s United States Grand Prix and would’ve arguably won the race – again prior to his DSQ – had his strategy been better.

He crossed the finish line just 2.2s behind Max Verstappen; however, he lost two seconds alone through two slow pit-stops.

Mercedes’ upgrade at the Circuit of the Americas was certainly a hit, with it having increased Hamilton’s confidence in the W14.

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Hamilton spoke very highly of the upgrades after the race and admitted he was able to actually “feel the upgrade”, something which has rarely happened since the new aerodynamic regulations were introduced.

The new upgrades gave the 38-year-old more confidence to really attack the corners, to the extent that he believes it was worth “two-tenths”.

“Firstly, being able to feel the upgrade is one thing,” Hamilton said, as reported by Motorsport Week. “That’s always what you’d hope they’d do but with just the way our car has been the past year, you’d add some things and not be able to feel it.

“So, rear end is the area I’ve always wanted improvements. Particularly because the lack of rear end gives a lack of confidence when attacking the corners. So the step we took there gave me the confidence to send it more and I need more!

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“It was a great feeling from lap one and I think because of that, if it was a tenth upgrade I probably got two-tenths out of it through that extra confidence I was able to carry throughout the race.”

As good as the upgrade felt, the US GP marked another missed opportunity for a race win.

Hamilton’s last victory remains as the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, which took place nearly two years ago.

Despite this unwanted fact, Hamilton believes the Silver Arrows can “really take the fight” to Red Bull this weekend in Mexico and next weekend in Brazil, as the Germans were strong at both venues last season.

In many ways, the Stevenage-born driver thinks the next two weekends are Mercedes’ last chance to claim a win this year, given that they expect to be weaker in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.

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“It’s always difficult to say it’s going to be good here or there, but we have definitely taken a step forwards and over these next four races, I can’t predict which one, we are going to be closer,” Hamilton continued.

“I think we were close here [Mexico] last year, so hopefully we will be a little bit closer this weekend. If we really get the strategy weekend, then maybe we can really take the fight to them.

“Brazil was a really great circuit for us last year, and if it turns out we are closer again there that is two much stronger races for us. Then when we go to Abu Dhabi the gap will open up again, so it’s these next two where I think we will have our best chance.”