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Hamilton: We can close that gap, not impossible

Hamilton: We can close that gap, not impossible

Hamilton: We can close that gap, not impossible

Lewis Hamilton seemed to be energized by his second place at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix, claiming Mercedes can close the gap to Red Bull and Aston Martin.

Early on the race, it seemed that George Russell will be the leading Mercedes car around Albert Park after his superb start, but an ill-timed Red Flag meant the Briton dropped down the order, before his power unit cried enough as he parked his W14 with flames coming out of the engine cover.

That meant Lewis Hamilton stepped up, and did a fine job of keeping a rampant Fernando Alonso at bay, the Spaniard admitting in the post race interviews that the seven-time Formula 1 Champion was tough to catch and pass on the day.

“To get a podium today is amazing; I definitely didn’t expect to be second this weekend, so I am super grateful,” Hamilton said in Mercedes‘ post-race presser release.

Mercedes need to keep fighting

“Considering we’re down on performance, to be fighting with the Aston Martins is amazing for us at this point in the season. We’ve just got to keep fighting. A big thank you to all the people back at the factory. We can close that gap; it’s going to be tough but not impossible,” he maintained.

“It was very unlucky for George today,” he said of his teammate’s misfortunes. “Our reliability has generally been pretty good so that was unfortunate.

“Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone here in Melbourne and Australia. I’ve had the best week here and this town continues to put on a great show,” the Briton concluded.

Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director; added: “It’s great to get the first podium of the year with Lewis, but it was a day of mixed fortunes for the team. Lewis drove a difficult race well and had to find a fine balance between tyre management and defending.

“The pace of the car has been better than at the first two races; we’ve made some changes to the setup for the circuit but hopefully we can take some of that learning into the upcoming races,” Shovlin concluded.

Toto Wolff commented: “We had strong pace today and it was really close with the Aston Martins and the Ferraris. That is good news for us, and I think we have made a step forward this weekend, both on one-lap and race pace.

“We maximised what we have, and we need to now comb through the data and continue to learn about the car. This will help bring the upgrade packages and that will be the key in challenging the leaders more often,” the Austrian maintained.

Mercedes leave Australia third in the Constructors’ Standings with 56 points behind Aston Martin who are second on 65, as Red Bull lead with 123.