F1: Hamilton believes podium finish not far away despite dreadful year

Lewis Hamilton believes he will be challenging for Formula 1 podiums soon having been impressed by recent improvements in his Mercedes.

The seven-time world champion has not stood on the F1 podium so far this season, likewise his teammate George Russell, with the latter’s fifth place finish in Monaco last time out and the season opener in Bahrain the best result so far for the German manufacturer.

Mercedes has introduced a new front wing which Hamilton will run this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix, with the hope of reducing the gap to rivals Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

“Yes, the car is continuing to improve. Everyone is taking a step, hopefully, closer to the Red Bulls and that’s been really positive,” he 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.”

When asked if he thinks a podium was possible at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where he has won seven times, 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.

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

“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.”

Hamilton will end his 11-year relationship with Mercedes at the end of 2024 before switching to Ferrari next year.

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