MELBOURNE, Australia – Seven-time World champion Lewis Hamilton has spoken about a “disconnect” with his Mercedes, despite producing a superb drive to finish second in Sunday’s Australia Grand Prix here.
The 38-year-old started from the second row of the grid but expertly navigated the chaos at Albert Park to finish second behind reigning world champion Max Verstappen.
For Hamilton, the result marked his first podium finish this season following disappointing outings in Bahrain and Jeddah.
“I still feel uncomfortable in the car, though. The car… I still don’t feel connected to it,” said Hamilton, whose paternal grandparents hail from Grenada.
“So I’m driving as best I can with that disconnect. And I’m working as hard as I can to try and create that connect.
“But I think it’s a long project. But still, considering we’ve been down on performance, we’re clearly down on end-of-straight pace compared to the Red Bulls, for us to be up here fighting with Aston is just amazing at this point in the season.
“And we’ve just got to keep on fighting. Big, big thank you to all the people back to the factory. Let’s keep pushing. We can close that gap. It’s going to be tough, but not impossible.”
Hamilton has been forced to play second fiddle to Dutchman Verstappen in recent seasons, as Red Bull’s reliability and speed has far out-stripped that of Mercedes.
The Brit was fifth in the opening two races of the campaign, leaving him fourth on 38 points but already falling considerably behind leader Verstappen on 69.
Hamilton, who has been in the past honored by Grenada’s government for his contributions to motorsport, said Sunday’s result had provided a new energy for the team especially after finishing ahead of Aston Martin, impressive in the early stages of the season.
“To get those points is really amazing today. I definitely didn’t expect to be second, so I’m super grateful for it,” he said.
“It was really quite interesting, just to see where we were, where we were lacking, and where we were good.
“And so there’s lots of positives to take from today but we do naturally need to add on some performance. They’ve been ahead the past two races but for us to somehow still finish ahead is pretty awesome. So I’ll definitely take it.”