SILVERSTONE, U.K. — Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes comes to his home grand prix in Silverstone as a stronger team following the reliability issues it faced in Austria.
Mercedes experienced its first double mechanical failure since 1955 at last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, throwing away a front row lockout and slipping behind Ferrari in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships by the end of the weekend. The issues were identified as a hydraulic leak on Valtteri Bottas’ car and a fuel pump failure on Hamilton’s, with the team manufacturing new parts to rectify the issues for this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
“Obviously we know it was a difficult weekend, of course, we would all have hoped it wasn’t the way it was, but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,” Hamilton said. “Honestly the spirit within the team is stronger than it’s ever been.
“These experiences that we’ve been having, and how we’ve been handling them have really united us more than any other year. There’s a great energy within the team so we’ve passed through the painful experience and actually brought us closer and made us stronger.
“Over the year I think there’s been some fixes already immediately after the races as soon as we got the car back I think there was a fix that was designed and put into to test tomorrow. The team are super on it and I am confident that we’ve done everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Prior to his retirement a poor strategy call had dropped Hamilton from the lead to fourth place, leading to head strategist James Vowles apologising to his driver over the team radio. But Hamilton does not think strategy is a weakness for Mercedes and remains convinced he has the best team behind him.
“I think if you look at the season it’s been like that for other teams too,” he said. “I think Ferrari have lost points I am pretty sure Red Bull has lost points. The amount of pressure, the amount of simulations that go on, the amount of engineers, there’s a lot tough calls for each team to make. And some of them for sure are easier than others and maybe the easier one is the wrong decision and vice a versa. That’s just how it is.
“I hope Austria is not a title decider but I can’t predict what’s going to happen. All I know is we are constantly bettering and improving. What I can say is I really feel like I have the best strategist team behind me.
” When you look at how many wins I have had with this team, we’ve had far far more success than we’ve had failures and nobody is perfect. It’s just the way this sport is — there’s no way to be perfect and that would probably be worrying if that was the case.”