Battling performances from both drivers maximise results and net the Team solid points in South Florida. George Russell finished fourth, and Lewis Hamilton sixth in the 2023 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.
Lining up sixth and 13th, respectively, George and Lewis took differing strategies, with George starting on the medium tyre and Lewis the hard. In their opening stints, both drivers made steady progress whilst focusing on conserving tyre life. George boxed on lap 17 to take the hard tyre. Whilst re-joining ahead of some drivers he was racing, he passed Esteban Ocon and closed down the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, overtaking him on lap 38 to take P4.
Meanwhile, Lewis bided his time on the hard tyre while aiding his team-mate’s race by letting him pass to attack cars ahead. He switched to the medium tyre on lap 37 and, having re-joined in P13, used fresher rubber and impressive speed to carve his way through to P6 at the flag.
With a solid points haul, the Team closes the gap on second-placed Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship to six points.
Today was a good race, and I am happy we moved forwards. Saturday was difficult, but I always try to turn negatives into positives. Going from P13 to P6 was decent, and I had a lot of fun making my way through; it was great to have several battles, so I enjoyed it. Initially, it wasn’t spectacular, as we were stuck in a DRS train and struggling to overtake it. I had to bide my time, and eventually, I could start attacking. The car was much better on the medium tyre and came alive midway through the race.
It’s good points for the Team, and I want to thank them a big thank you. They are keeping their heads down and working hard to improve. We’re not where we want to be, but the morale is still great.
That was a really satisfying race for us today. After the challenges in Qualifying, it felt like a normal day for us. To finish P4 on merit and finish ahead of the Ferraris was the maximum we could have achieved. The battle with Carlos (Sainz) was really enjoyable. I made a good move that needed a lot of commitment as the track is so dirty off-line. Thanks to Lewis for letting me by and enabling me to get on with my race, as we were in different battles today. We have a good relationship and only want what is best for the Team. That’s what we are working towards.
We know where we are, and driving the car is still challenging. We hope to have some updates on the car in Imola; they will not change the world for us, but hopefully, it will be a step in the right direction. Despite today’s positives, we know we still have a lot of work to do and need to make significant improvements to close the gap with Red Bull.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO
Two years ago, we wouldn’t have been as pleased with a P4 and a P6 as we are today. We know we have a difficult car, but Qualifying was clearly a real challenge. The car improved in the race, and we achieved a solid result. Both drivers drove superbly today. If you start P13 and are on the same strategy as everybody else, it’s difficult to pass, so we opted to start Lewis on the hard tyre. Others ahead chose to do the same, and after not gaining any positions at the start, it looked like it may be slightly diminished. We got there in the end, though and maximised the result. It was also fantastic to see the way he and George worked together. They are both incredible drivers, but it is so straightforward with them. That is so good for us in this challenging moment.
We move on to Imola next, and I hope we will take a step in understanding the car. We are glass-half-empty people here at Mercedes; I don’t believe we will go there and be in the middle of the fight for victory. We are focused on understanding the upgrades we bring and establishing a good baseline.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
We can be satisfied with the result today, considering our start positions. Our Qualifying performance yesterday meant that George’s podium places were out of reach, and Lewis had a real mountain to climb from the 13th. Nevertheless, we maximised our performance and points through great overtaking and exemplary teamwork, with Lewis allowing George to attack cars ahead. We’ve therefore had a decent day in the championship; we’re in a close fight with Aston Martin and Ferrari, and we’ve gained some ground.
We know we’re still not quick enough, and we’re working hard to rectify that as quickly as possible. We will go back from here and try and understand why our single-lap performance has been such a challenge.