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Hamilton: We've taken a huge step

Hamilton: We’ve taken a huge step

Hamilton: We've taken a huge step

Lewis Hamilton expressed delight with a first Grand Prix podium of 2024, and highlighted the step up in performance made by his team in recent races.

The seven-time Formula 1 World Champion’s last appearance on a main race podium was at the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix. Until the last few race weekends, it looked as though the Mercedes W15 wouldn’t be capable of adding to Hamilton’s trophy cabinet.

However, the Brackley-based outfit has enjoyed an upturn in relative performance since the Canadian Grand Prix, where Hamilton’s teammate George Russell took pole position and ultimately finished in P3.

This time it was Hamilton’s turn on the final step of the podium, although the veteran driver was far behind the McLaren of Lando Norris and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen further out front come the chequered flag.

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Nevertheless, Hamilton was very happy to secure 15 valuable points for himself and Mercedes. He said in the Mercedes post-race report: It’s been a really great weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the podium so I’m very happy!

“We’re not quite there yet but we’ve taken a huge step in recent races. We didn’t quite have the pace to fight with the two guys ahead of us but, if we can deliver more consistently like this, then we will be in a strong position. We are on our way to catching those guys and that is fantastic,” added the 39-year-old.

I had a really bad start

Hamilton believes that with a better race start, in which he almost lost fourth position to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, he may have had an even better race. He continued: “I had a really bad start, which was unfortunate. The race may have been slightly different if I had got off the line better, but ultimately, I think P3 was the maximum today.

“I was pleased with my move on Sainz too. I gave him enough room and we both made it through the corner. It was an important move for my race, so I was glad to get it done.

“It’s now on to Austria and we’re looking forward to it,” concluded the Briton.

Russell: I was dreaming of making a move like I did

Hamilton: We've taken a huge step

Russell fell into the clutches of his teammate in the latter stages of the 66-lap event, owing to an ill-advised switch to the Hard compound of tyre. He blamed this for his lack of pace compared to Hamilton around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya: “There were a few things that went against us today, unfortunately. We had a slow first pit stop, and then the Hard tyre didn’t feel great in the final stint.

“Nevertheless, as a team our aim was to maximise what we could achieve today, and we did that with P3 and P4. Lewis drove a great race today and we take away the huge positives from what have been a very promising last couple of races.”

Sweeping around the outside of both Norris and Verstappen into the first corner on the opening lap was no doubt the highlight of Russell’s Spanish Grand Prix. The man from King’s Lynn claimed that this was literally a dream come true: “I was dreaming of making a move like I did into turn one last night.

“I didn’t think it would quite come to fruition in the way that it did! I remember Fernando (Alonso) making a similar start in 2013. We had a headwind so I knew I could brake quite late. It was a very satisfying move and felt good to lead a race again.

“Unfortunately Max was too fast for us today, as was Lando. But two podiums in two races is very encouraging as we head to Austria,” stated Russell.

The Austrian Grand Prix commences Sunday 30 June at 14:00 BST (15:00 local time).