Sir Lewis Hamilton was unequivocal in his affirmation that Mercedes’ goal is to win races in the second half of 2022.
Mercedes were made to work in the early part of the season when they discovered that they had a car that was not capable of winning races.
In fact, the new technical regulations were so unkind to them that they even looked in danger of being swallowed up by the midfield.
Their concept, which featured almost a complete absence of sidepods, proved difficult to make work as they struggled through “porpoising” and bouncing.
Between them, Hamilton and George Russell achieved four podiums in the opening seven rounds of the season, but they have added another eight in the last six.
Hamilton looked in contention for the win in Silverstone, while Russell took pole position in the last race in Budapest.
The Silver Arrows took a double podium in that race, which was preceded by their first of the season in France.
Ferrari have won two of the last 10 races between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, and they have lost points through mistakes, reliability failures and strategic errors.
The German side are now just 30 points adrift of the second-placed side in the Constructors’ Standings, and their form of late is indicative that they can challenge for wins in the final nine rounds of the year.
Indeed, Hamilton told fans on Thursday ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix that “we’re here to cause havoc in the second half of the season.”
The 37-year-old was asked in the press conference whether he believes wins are just up ahead, and he was certain in his response.
“I do, definitely,” replied Hamilton.
“Of course, we’ve been improving, we’ve had this consistency that’s come up over the recent races, and great progress that the team is just making, everyone pulling together and continuing to push.
“And, the car’s becoming more of a racing car which is not particularly what it was at the beginning of the year, more like a normal racing car in the sense of its characteristics.
“So that’s positive, and the last race was obviously the best showing that we’ve had so far, and that, for us, was a huge boost just [reminding us] that that we can close that gap.
“So, it’s naturally going to continue to be tough, we’ll keep our heads down, the other guys are doing an amazing job, but I do believe that we can close the gap.”
Just 32 points separate second-placed Leclerc and sixth-placed Hamilton in the Drivers’ Standings, with Max Verstappen 80 points ahead of the Monegasque.