It was a dramatic conclusion to the French Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell scoring the first double podium for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team of the 2022 F1 season.
A solid start for Lewis saw him gain one position in the opening lap, finishing the race in P2 after an accident for Charles Leclerc on lap 18, with Hamilton managing to defend P2 in his 300th Grand Prix.
Russell scored a hard-fought P3 finish, after a late overtake following the VSC on Sergio Perez in the closing stages.
With track temperatures of 56 degrees, the hottest of the weekend, Mercedes decided on a one stop strategy with the drivers managing the tyres well in the heat.
This is the team’s first double podium finish since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
‘What a great result, considering we have been so far off all weekend and that I missed FP1. I wasn’t expecting to fight for second place or a podium, so this is a wonderful result for us. Our team has been amazing when it comes to reliability and it shows that with dedication and focus, we can slowly make our way up. We don’t have the same pace yet as the two teams at the front but today we were able to keep one of them at bay so a great result for us, everyone has worked really hard. Huge congratulations to the teams back at the factories and the team here. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible and I’m proud of them. And George did an amazing job today, too.’
‘It was a long and tough race. Our pace was strong, but we really struggled with the warm-up of the tyres on the restart and Checo was strong today. I was glad to see the chequered flag and come home P3. We’re making a lot of progress and we really need to improve our qualifying performance as we’re lacking consistency. We know as a team we struggle with the tyre warm-up and at the restart I struggled with the same issue. Our race pace today was reasonable and we’re getting closer to the front. We’re doing everything we can to improve the performance of the car and we believe we are on the right path, so we’re excited what the next races can bring for us. We’re making progress and there is still more to come, thanks to everyone back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth for their hard work and dedication.’
‘Overall, the drivers did a really good job and the team effort was great today. We’re extracting the maximum that is possible on race day currently. George was clever and fast, while Lewis was fighting like a lion. Lewis is absolutely on it and keeps pushing the team. He keeps his positive mindset, even on grim days like yesterday and he never stops pushing. But we need to stay humble, because our car is just not good enough to fight with the teams in the front. We’re lacking six to seven tenths to the leaders. In qualifying we struggle to bring the tyres into the optimum window and don’t manage to extract the most from the first flying lap. And then in the race, we lose three seconds at the start of the race, but once we stabilise, we are actually not so bad. We still have a lot of work to do, but I believe we have the best people to do so. All in all, today was a great team effort at track and back at the factories and we’re heading in the right direction.’
‘That was our best race of the year and really pleasing to see both drivers racing at the front. We know that we’ve got a long road ahead of us but compared to where we were a couple of months ago in Monaco and Baku, it’s really satisfying to see the team and drivers having a bit of fun again. The weekend hasn’t been easy, our qualifying positions weren’t far off expectation, but the gaps to Charles and Max were eye opening. We’d hoped that the car would be kind on the tyres today, the conditions were very tough given the circuit and the temperature but degradation was good and whilst we are lacking a bit of pace, we at least seemed a bit stronger towards the end of the stints. We’ve only got a couple of days to try and regroup and prepare for Budapest. Hard work has got us to a level where we can fight for a place on the podium but we want to be fighting for the top step. We’ve got one race to go before the summer break so we will be pushing hard to try and finish the first half of the season on a high note.’