Hamilton: “We’re a lot closer than we have been so far this season”

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

After the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Free Practice 1&2, Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes is “seeing improvements in the car and our performance on track”.

In Imola, Mercedes has introduced the second part of its upgrade package, and it seems to be working. In fact, the team had quite a good performance in the first two Emilia Romagna Grand Prix free practice sessions.

Afterwards, Lewis Hamilton said the team is the closest it has been to its rivals so far in 2024.

“It’s been a good start to the weekend,” the Briton said.

“We had a productive day and were able to run all three compounds. The balance of the car felt good, and I had a positive feeling out there.

“Several other teams look quick, in particular McLaren and Ferrari, but we’re a lot closer than we have been so far this season.

“We’re not getting ahead of ourselves though so let’s see how tomorrow goes.

“I am really grateful to everyone back at the factory for working so hard to bring these updates.

“We are seeing improvements in the car and our performance on track,” Hamilton concluded.

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The team’s Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin confirmed the upgrades brought to the track seem to be working.

“We’ve had a productive day today,” Shovlin said.

“The car has been working well across the two sessions and we have been able to improve on the balance over the course of the day.

“The updates we have here all seem to be doing what we expect, which is encouraging, but the experience of the last few races has taught us that we have a fair size gap to close.

“We are hoping to close that gap progressively with developments over the next few events.

“There’s still plenty that we can work on for both single lap and long run performance in the meantime.

“The gaps ahead aren’t that big so we’ll be looking hard to find a bit of additional speed overnight,” he concluded.

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