Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes are not as competitive at Paul Ricard this weekend as they were two weeks ago in Austria.
However, he believes the team still has a chance to continue their podium streak this weekend.
“Today we are fourth and fifth, so that’s the points area we will be fighting for.”
“I don’t want to say we can’t be on the podium, I think we can still be there. We’re still not as quick as the guys up front – we’re even further than we were when of the last race.”
Although he did not drive his car in the opening session, when Nyck de Vries took his place, Hamilton said he “made some changes” to its settings between sessions.
“It was a bit crazy because I hadn’t even driven the Nyck-tuned car.”
“He did a great job this morning, kept the car in one piece and was great. So I’m grateful for the job he did this morning but there were some settings that I didn’t like on the track. paper.”
Mercedes arrived at the Paul Ricard expecting its combination of fast corners, smooth surface and high temperatures to play their game.
But Hamilton said the team “still had a lot of work to do, a long way to go” after being overtaken again by Ferrari and Red Bull on Friday.
“The car is not crazy here, we don’t know why, but hopefully by tomorrow we can take a small step forward. The W13 lacks rhythm everywhere around the track. It’s just every corner I’ll have to dig deeper into the data, but I feel like we’re lacking downforce today. But otherwise it’s okay, I can only empathize with the guys even more behind.”
“Generally this generation of cars is nowhere near as good as it was in terms of grip as in the past. But it’s also the first year of this generation so I’m sure it’s going to be fine ‘improving over the years. But we have work to do, we’re a bit behind schedule this weekend.”