Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton secured his second podium of the 2022 F1 season this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix with a third-place finish behind Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.
In a post-race media interaction, the Briton admitted that this result is proof that Mercedes are taking the correct steps to get closer to the top in terms of performance when it comes to challenging the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari. He said:
“It’s quite overwhelming to get this third place - it’s been such a battle this year with the car, but we continue to stay vigilant, focused and never giving up, and that’s something I’m proud of. We’re getting closer, so we’ve got to keep pushing and keep pushing, and hopefully we’ll eventually be in the fight with these guys.”
Earlier this weekend, Lewis Hamilton described his car as "undrivable" in Friday's free practice sessions in Montréal. His qualifying pace and his result in the main race, however, are testaments to the fact that Mercedes are making significant progress.
"Safety is the most important thing" - Lewis Hamilton on FIA's technical directive
Mercedes have been most vocal about their issues with porpoising when it comes to the 2022 F1 cars. When the FIA announced a technical directive to intervene and tackle the issue, Lewis Hamilton, who in particular was struggling with the porpoising problems, claimed that safety should be the greatest priority.
In a drivers' press conference ahead of the 2022 F1 Canadian GP, he said:
“Yeah, I mean, it was always interesting seeing people’s perspectives and opinions in different lights. Obviously in front of you it’s one thing and another in the background, sometimes people say different things. But ultimately, I think safety is the most important thing.”
Emphasizing that it is a widespread issue and not restricted only to the Bracley-based team, Hamilton said:
“And I don’t think… I think there’s at least one driver in every team has spoken on it and I don’t think it’s going to change a huge amount but I think there is a lot of work to be done and it’s positive that the FIA are working towards improving it, because we have this car for the next few years. So it’s not about coping with the bouncing for the next four years, it’s about completely getting rid of it and fixing it so that the future drivers, all of us, don’t have back problems moving forwards.”
While Mercedes have not been scoring wins or large chunks of points in every race, it is their consistency in terms of reliability that has allowed the team to remain secure in third place in the constructors' standings.