It was a much improved race weekend for Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team for round 15 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in the Dutch Grand Prix but the team was disappointed not to have achieved its first victory of the season.
Lewis Hamilton was leading for much of the race and had committed to a one-stop strategy with the rest of the grid over two stops, but two safety car incidents saw him lose that lead. his teammate george russell He got his sixth podium of the season after beating the seven-time world champion for second place.
Hamilton was hoping for his first win of the season as he looks to win a race in his 11th straight year in the sport, but it didn’t happen today.
“Today we had a great challenge with the VSCs and the Safety Cars. I think the strategy and the car had been very good up to that point, the pit stops were fantastic, I think the best we’ve had all year and they really buoyed me up. Especially after a year of so many ups and downs, we haven’t had a win since Saudi Arabia last year. So finally it was there, in our grasp, but of course the safety car didn’t really help.”
“But the guys were really, really into it, we were all into it and I was really hopeful that we were going to make it 1-2 together as a team. But considering how it played out after the final safety car and going back.”
The British driver had harsh words with his team over the radio, but later apologized for the comments as the team was in a difficult situation.
“I was on the verge of breaking point with emotions and my apologies to the team because I don’t even remember what I said on the radio, I just got lost for a second. But I think they know that there is so much passion and I want to see today as a glass half full. We came here with problems in the last race and we fought against the Red Bulls today, we were faster than most in many points.”
“Without the safety car, I think we would have been challenging them for the win at the end of the one-stop, something I don’t think the others would be able to do. So many great things to take away from this weekend – the car was finally working. If this can be the same in future races, we will continue to breathe down their necks and get that victory.”
George Russell: “We are here to win”
hamilton teammate george russell He had better luck today, finishing second on his sixth podium of the season after making the decision to pit for newer soft tyres, allowing him to pass Hamilton.
“It’s been an incredible reception here, a really special feeling for all of us riders to come and race in Zandvoort and in Holland. As a team we showed incredible pace today, I know the team result was not what we expected but this gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of faith to keep going. It’s amazing to see three different teams on the podium and we as Mercedes are slowly getting closer to that top step, so let’s keep pushing.“
“It was not an easy decision for the team to make with the final safety car: when you are up front with track position, you have a chance to win, which is what we did. But this is what we as Mercedes are here to do, we are here to win. And the 2,000 people in the UK, in Brackley and Brixworth, are working for us to win, so today we make a decision to give ourselves the best chance of doing so.“
Russell is happy with Mercedes’ progress but thinks they need to qualify better to be able to compete at the top.
“Our performance in qualifying yesterday probably cost us more this weekend because if we were on the second row I think we would have been fighting even harder for the win. But from the first race in Bahrain, to being second out, to this weekend and having the fastest race car is incredibly impressive and everyone in the team should be very proud.“