Berliner Tageblatt - Hamilton says Mercedes in 'no man's land'

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Hamilton says Mercedes in 'no man's land'
Hamilton says Mercedes in 'no man's land' / Photo: © AFP

Hamilton says Mercedes in 'no man's land'

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton admitted he and his Mercedes team are in "no man's land" after finishing more than 35 seconds adrift in sixth in Sunday's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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The Ferrari-bound Briton, who received a warm reception from the tifosi packed around the Italian team's home circuit, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, shrugged off suggestions that it was a tough situation.

"It isn't tough," he said. "It is where we are and we have to do the best we can -- and that is the best we could do today.

"We are in no man's land. There wasn't much more for us to get today."

Hamilton started eighth on the grid and finished ahead of team-mate George Russell who was put on a two-stop strategy by the team, but managed to record fastest race lap.

"The car was capable of sixth and seventh and that is where we finished," said Russell, adding he had no intention of sulking about losing a place to Hamilton because of the strategy decision.

The team, a distant fourth behind Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren in the constructors championship, introducded a package of updates on the car at Imola.

"It's not possible to see it, in terms of the result, but we have taken a small step forward this weekend," said deadpan team boss Toto Wolff.

"Our closest competitors have also done so, but we have closed the gap to the front a little. There's more to come."

After dominating Formula One, Mercedes have struggled since the introduction of the current rules brought in "ground effect" aerodynamics in 2022.

Hamilton, winner of a record 103 Grands Prix, is without a win in 52 races since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.