Lewis Hamilton says he hopes to be challenging for F1 podiums again soon having been buoyed by Mercedes’ recent improvements.

Neither Mercedes driver has stood on the F1 rostrum so far this season after enduing a challenging opening eight races to the campaign, with George Russell taking the team’s best finish with fifth in Bahrain and Monaco.

Mercedes introduced a new front wing in Monaco which the team hopes will help them reduce the gap to rivals Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

Hamilton, who will also run the updated front wing at this weekend’s Canadian Gran Prix after Russell got first dibs in Monaco, believes Mercedes have improved the W15.

“Yes, the car is continuing to improve. Everyone is taking a step, hopefully, closer to the Red Bulls and that’s been really positive,” the seven-time world champion said.

“Incredibly proud of everyone back at the factory, just how hard everyone is working and how resilient everyone is. Everyone is staying focus and the morale is really great in the team.”

“I’m hoping that we can get close to these guys and start actually competing at the front.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Race

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Asked if he thinks a podium could be possible at a track he has won at seven times throughout his career, Hamilton replied: “I don’t think it’s far away.

“We’ve got the upgrade, both cars have got the upgrade this weekend so I’m looking forward to seeing how that feels on track.”

Hamilton was also asked where Mercedes have managed to make the biggest gains with the W15.

“The biggest improvement for this year has been ride quality and get the car lower, which is what others have been able to do,” he explained.

“Then stability on entry of corners, the car is far more predictable than it ever was, and more stable, particularly the last couple of years. This year’s is more stable so you can be a lot more committed into the corners.

“But through corner balance is where we’ve been lacking, and where others have taken a big step, so that’s what we’re trying to work on.”