Mercedes upgrade ‘start of a new path’

Lewis Hamilton has described the Mercedes upgrade as 'the start of a new path'

Lewis Hamilton has described the Mercedes upgrade as ‘the start of a new path’

Lewis Hamilton has described the upgrade that will appear on his Mercedes in Azerbaijan this weekend as the “start of a new path” for the team.

Mercedes has made no secret of its disappointment in its current fortunes.

The squad sits third in the constructors’ championship behind runaway leaders Red Bull, with Aston Martin nine points clear in second.

Hamilton was second in Australia but had no answer to race winner Max Verstappen and spent much of the event fending off the advances of Fernando Alonso.

Since then, changes have been made to the squad’s technical makeup as James Allison steps back into the fray.

He’s effectively swapped jobs with Mike Elliott, who had been overseeing the technical side of the team’s day-to-day operations.

Back at base, there is a concerted effort to transform the performance of the W14.

The first evidence of that, according to Hamilton, will be seen in the upgrade on his Mercedes this weekend.

“It will be an upgrade, naturally, but I think it will be the start of a new path for us,” he said.

“It will be, at the core, still the same car, but part of the path to getting to where we want to be.

“We’re not going to hit the ground and be where we wanted to be at the start of the season – we’re not making up that crazy ground that there is.

“But I think it’s really positive.

“So much great work has been done back in the factory. It takes time to progress in the right direction, so I think I’m excited for it.”

The seven-time world champion is realistic when it comes to his hopes this weekend.

Red Bull is expected to remain the class of the field while Ferrari looked to have made strides in Albert Park before running into trouble during the race.

That allowed Hamilton and Mercedes to cash in, the seven-time world champion aware that a repeat is unlikely.

“The last race was really, really great for us,” he began.

“We work very hard to get that sort of result. It won’t be easy to do again.

“We know the Ferraris will be quick, Red Bulls will be quick, Astons will be quick as well.

“So I hope that we’re just in the mix. I hope that we get to battle with them.

“This is an amazing event for us to do that, and particularly with the shake-up of the whole format of the weekend, it’s probably the most exciting weekend so far this weekend.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.”

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