Lewis Hamilton has called on Mercedes to eradicate mistakes, as he feels it is under more pressure than at any other time in Formula 1’s V6 hybrid era so far.
Even on the weekend of Hamilton’s first grand prix win of 2016 in Monaco, a fuel temperature issue at the start of Q3 hampered his qualifying effort. The reigning champion was then aided by teammate Nico Rosberg’s failure to get heat into his brakes and tires in the early wet conditions in the race, and the German only managed to finish seventh.
Though Mercedes has won five of this year’s six grands prix so far, its cushion to Ferrari is 67 points – compared to 84 at the same point in 2015 – with a resurgent Red Bull just nine points further back.
“I’m conscious of moving forward,” remarked Hamilton of his own title challenge, having closed to within 24 points of Rosberg. “But there are still issues, there were still mistakes being made, so we really need to pull together as a team because right now we have more pressure than we’ve ever had on us because of the other teams applying that pressure.
“You’re starting to see small buckles here and there, so what’s important is we do pull together, because we are the greatest team, we just need to refine a few areas.”
Much was made of the swap of a number of mechanics between Rosberg and Hamilton’s car as the champion endured his numerous technical issues earlier this year. Though Hamilton denied seeing the Monaco win as a turning point, he at least hopes his side of the garage will have gained confidence from it.
“We have a long way to go, and these past five races have just shown that anything is possible, and more so than not in a negative way for me,” he said. “But the win will hopefully be a boost for my mechanics who have been nervous all year. It’s not easy coming from one side of the garage to the world champion’s car. When I jump into the car I need to deliver, and because of the issues we’ve had we’ve probably felt like we’re not delivering, but they have been delivering.
“So this win will be a great relief to them, and I’m grateful to them for sticking with me and getting through it. Hopefully it will give them the confidence to know I’m just as strong as I’ve always been, and I will be better still yet.”