Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during practice at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia, April 7, 2022. — Reuters pic
MELBOURNE, April 11 — Lewis Hamilton hailed his fourth-place finish behind teammate George Russell at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday as a “great result” that will give Mercedes a shot in the arm.
Both drivers have had a torrid time so far this season as the once-dominant German manufacturer struggled with porpoising, or bouncing at high speed.
The problem has not been fixed and the team remains well off the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull, but they are slowly improving.
“It’s a great result for us as a team, honestly,” said seven-time world champion Hamilton.
“This weekend we have had so many difficult moments with the car and to get fifth and sixth in qualifying, to have progressed like we have, with the reliability we have, is amazing.
“We definitely didn’t expect to be third and fourth today. But we’ll take these points and keep pushing.”
Hamilton added that the engine was overheating at a certain point.
“I had to back off and sit behind, but we bagged as many points we could as a team and that’s great,” he said.
Russell said it was credit to the team back at their British base for helping them extract everything possible out of the car around the tricky Albert Park circuit.
“There’s so much hard work going on back at base to try and get us back at the front, so to be standing on the podium today is special a reward for all their hard work,” he said.
“We’re never going to give up, we’ve got to keep on fighting. This weekend we were a long way behind our rivals but here we are standing on the podium.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said they were leaving Melbourne in a better state than when they arrived with “more lessons learned, more data to analyse and more points on the board”.
“One factor that leaves me very optimistic for the future is the mindset and strength of the team,” he said. — AFP