Lewis Hamilton makes brutally honest Mercedes admission amid concerns | F1 | Sport

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that it is ‘unrealistic’ for himself and Mercedes to target a Grand Prix victory as they round off their 12-year partnership together. The legendary Brit will join Ferrari for the 2024 campaign but is unlikely to cap off an iconic stint at Brackley with a race win to celebrate his achievements.

For Mercedes, there are some positives to take from the opening eight races of 2024: they are beginning to understand the behaviour of their car concept. Unfortunately for the eight-time champions, they have been left in the dust by rivals Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, and the gap to the top three teams now seems insurmountable before 2025.

The result of such a struggle is that with one-third of the campaign in the rear-view mirror, Hamilton has a season’s best finish of sixth place. This form has been a far cry from his 2023 showings as he stamped his authority on the rest of the field behind the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Hamilton is winless since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and with Mercedes still as uncompetitive today as they were at the start of the ground-effect regulations in 2022, it appears that wait won’t be ending any time soon.

“That’s what we’re working towards, but it’s not realistic,” Hamilton said in Monaco when asked if he can end his Mercedes career with a return to the top step of the podium. “I don’t know how the year is going to evolve. If others plateau and don’t develop and we continue to develop, or if they develop at the same rate as us.

“I really have no idea but what I can say is we’re continuing to push. I haven’t got a crystal ball so I have no idea how the year going to end but in terms of how we are working together and how we are continuing to stay focused and motivated, I think that’s that’s inspiring.”

These comments come off the back of a turbulent week at the Monaco GP, during which the Briton appeared to accuse his team of favouring team-mate George Russell.

“I don’t know if it’s a turn-down or something, but performance comes away from my car for some reason,” Hamilton said after losing out to Russell in qualifying for the seventh time in eight races. “I expect it now. Every time I get to qualifying, I already know that I’m going to lose a couple of tenths.”

Hamilton went on to provide reporters with a warning for the rest of the year, adding: “I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying this year,” When asked to clarify his cryptic comments, Hamilton paused before replying: “We will see.”

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