It was a decent weekend out on track for the Team at the 2023 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, with Lewis storming to a second-place finish and George moving up the field from P12 on the grid to P3 at the chequered flag. We scored our first double podium of the year and moved ahead of Aston Martin, into P2 in the Constructors’ standings.
Lewis Hamilton finished second and George Russell third in the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix. Starting P4 and P12 respectively on the Soft tyre, both drivers made progress in the early stages. George vaulted to P7 on the opening circuit, with Lewis moving up to P3 within the first 10 laps.
After running a longer first stint, Lewis and George both switched to the Medium compound and used their strong race pace to move up to P2 and P3 just after the halfway point of the Grand Prix.
A final stop for another Soft tyre saw Lewis running in a comfortable second, with George managing the gap to Sergio Perez as he occupied P3. Both drivers saw out the final laps to claim the Team’s first double podium finish since Brazil last year.
With a significant points haul, the Team has now moved into second place in the Constructors’ Championship.
I am so happy after today. I didn’t expect us to come here this weekend and finish second. I was able to keep everything under control today. We couldn’t keep up with the Red Bull of Max (Verstappen) as they are in another league, but this is still a really positive result. For George to come through from P12 to P3 is also spectacular. I feel incredibly grateful to the whole Team, everyone back at the factory to Team LH all over the world who are always sticking by me.
We are learning more and more about the car. I am hoping that the car continues to be like it was this weekend. I am hoping from here onwards we are in a good place. For sure, there will be some circuits where the car isn’t quite in the right window but hopefully, the next few races should suit us.
It was a pretty good race today! This morning, I had a lot of confidence that I could move forward from P12 and thought that P5 or P6 was achievable. After a good start, our pace was just there from the very beginning. We knew after Friday that we had a good race pace, but you can never be 100 per cent sure if it will translate to the Grand Prix. I was really pleased it did, I was able to make some good overtakes and bring it home on the podium.
This result highlights all the hard work and efforts that have gone on at the factory to bring these upgrades. We had a strong race here last year, so the next couple of races will be key to see if we can consistently produce results like this and close the gap to Red Bull.
Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO
I’m really pleased with the hard work that has been done in Brackley and Brixworth and happy for everyone in the Team. It’s a good result but we need to be realistic too. The lower temperatures today and on Saturday really suited us; it was nice and fresh, not too hot nor too cold, and the car was in a mega window.
We took a decision to go in another direction early in the season; it was a risky move, but everyone has just pushed forward and we’ve got a good race car. We now need to just keep chipping away. We are a good Team at grinding away; once there is a clear direction we just go for it. Let’s keep our expectations real though. We’ve got a long way to go to catch Red Bull but it’s good to see we are moving in the right direction.
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
It’s great to see both cars on the podium again. It’s been a while! We’re obviously pleased with the result but it’s more satisfying to see the progress with the car. The Team have been working flat out since the Bahrain test to bring improvements to the car, and it’s nice to see that the recent updates appear to have brought performance.
The drivers did a great job balancing the need to push to overtake today with the tyre management requirements. The Team also did really well optimising the race. For sure this track suits the car, especially in the long run, so we’re realistic about our chances in Montreal. We seem to be moving in the right direction though and that’s the main thing. We’ve made good progress in the championship; Max is clearly out of arms reach for us at the moment, but we had fun today and we’re looking forward to the next races.