Lewis Hamilton says McLaren’s British GP performance “really warms my heart”

Spread the love

Has the British Grand Prix officially marked McLaren’s comeback? The Woking-based team has introduced during the Silverstone weekend the second part of a three-stage upgrade package that changed almost every aerodynamic part on the MCL60.

They were upgrades that led to an outstanding qualifying for Lando Norris, missing out on pole position by only 0.241 seconds to Max Verstappen, with teammate Oscar Piastri following in third place ahead of the Ferraris and Mercedes.

A result that in the race has turned into a fourth place for the Australian driver, with Norris instead maintaining his position after an intense battle with Lewis Hamilton.

The seven-times world champion reveals of not being shocked by McLaren’s result: “Not surprised. I mean, if you look at the car, it makes sense. I’m really happy for them” — underling the similarity to the RB19 — “If you just put it alongside a Red Bull, it looks very, very similar down the sides. It’s working. It is great.

“They’ve had such a bad run for so long, so to be back up there is really, really great to see.”

From Hamilton’s point of view, on one side McLaren being faster this weekend definitely represents a “wake-up call” for Mercedes:

“It’s not a blow. It’s just a wake-up call for us. Others have overtaken us, and we need to do more.”

But at the same time it signifies a source of pride and happiness for the seven-time World Champion as his journey started at McLaren and seeing them being competitive again, 15 years on from winning his first Drivers’ Championship with them.

“Huge congrats to Lando and to McLaren, that’s where I started so to see them back doing so well it really warms my heart.

“It was great to see… it was a great battle we had but it’s really amazing to see the McLaren back up in competitive form. I think it’s been such a long time.”

Photo credit: Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

The emergence of McLaren, then added Hamilton, can be also seen as an indicator of how the grid is increasingly closing with teams slowly making progress, making competition the key to entertainment in F1 again.

“We now have another team up in the mix, which is what we want to see in this sport.

“What I would say is that this is one of the most exciting times I think we’ve seen in the sport where we’re finally starting to see the regs pull people closer.

“You’ve seen the Williams was up there with Albon. You’ve seen the McLarens now, the Astons so we have a lot of teams getting very, very close: small gaps within qualifying which is exactly what we need. So I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the year evolve.”