Ahead of this weekend’s 2023 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he’d be “proud” if Mercedes can secure second in the Constructors’ Championship.
The Silver Arrows enter the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a marginal four-point advantage over Ferrari, who have demonstrated better pace in recent weeks.
Mercedes’ end of season performance has been massively disappointing, considering that they looked so strong in Qatar, Austin and Mexico City.
Hamilton and George Russell were absolutely nowhere in Brazil, with that having been the event which has really hurt Mercedes.
Their pace was good last weekend in Las Vegas but a poor qualifying from Hamilton let the team down.
As a result, there is virtually nothing separating the two teams, who will both be giving it their all to claim second.
Both teams will be pushing for P2, to ensure that they receive as much of the prize fund as possible.
According to Autosport, the team that finishes second in the Constructors’ Championship will receive around £104 million, whilst the side that ends the year in third will receive £97 million.
Because of this, it’s very much in the interest of both teams to claim the spot.
Getting Mercedes second in the standings is the only thing which Hamilton would be “proud” of from the season, with him admitting that if they can achieve it then it’ll mark a “pretty amazing” recovery.
“The one that I might be proud of is getting second for the team, just knowing how hard everyone’s worked back at the factory,” Hamilton told Channel 4.
“It’s been a tough two years for everybody, but the fact that we are fighting for second in the Championship is pretty amazing to recover in that way.”
Following the opening day at the Yas Marina Circuit, it’s Mercedes who appear to have the edge after Russell topped Free Practice 1.
It was Charles Leclerc who went fastest in Free Practice 2; however, Carlos Sainz had a huge shunt on the outside of Turn 3.
For the second week in a row, Sainz’s car was destroyed by the collision, leaving Ferrari with significant work to do ahead of Saturday.