Mercedes send Red Bull warning amid Lewis Hamilton appeasement

The progress made by Mercedes was on display in Canada as Lewis Hamilton got closer to Max Verstappen.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has issued a warning to Red Bull, stating that his team is closing in and getting “much closer” with each passing race. 

At the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton finished less than 15 seconds behind Max Verstappen at the chequered flag, marking a significant improvement for Mercedes.

Earlier in the season, Mercedes struggled at the Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing over 50 seconds behind Verstappen. 

However, they introduced a B-spec car at the Monaco Grand Prix, resulting in a remarkable turnaround.

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In the subsequent race in Spain, Hamilton secured second place, while George Russell claimed a podium finish in third. 

It was a positive step forward for Mercedes, with Hamilton finishing 24 seconds behind Verstappen, significantly narrowing the gap.

Red Bull had downplayed Mercedes’ progress, claiming that their rivals were not getting any closer. 

According to Christian Horner, the order of the teams was merely changing. 

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However, the Canadian Grand Prix proved otherwise, as both Fernando Alonso in second place and Hamilton in third finished within 15 seconds of race winner Verstappen. 

This was the closest any non-Red Bull cars had come to the race winner all season, except for the Australian Grand Prix.

The race marked Mercedes’ second consecutive podium finish, which pleased Toto Wolff. 

He described it as “encouraging” and highlighted the 14.1-second gap between Hamilton and Verstappen, indicating progress for the team. 

Despite the improvement, Wolff acknowledged that there is still work to be done, as the margin to Red Bull remains significant.

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director, echoed Wolff’s sentiments, expressing confidence that podium fights will be a regular occurrence for the team in the remaining races of the season. 

Although they still have pace to find before challenging Verstappen, the team is determined to close the gap and is motivated to deliver performance.

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Lewis Hamilton admitted that there is “a lot of work to do” to enhance the W14 car. 

He emphasised the need to increase rear load and improve efficiency. However, he believes that Mercedes is on the right track and heading in the right direction. 

Hamilton currently sits fourth in the Drivers’ standings, trailing second-placed Sergio Perez by 24 points, while Russell is sixth, 37 points behind his teammate.