Mercedes chief ramps up pressure on Lewis Hamilton as lofty target set

Mercedes technical director James Allison has set his sights on a Grand Prix victory before the end of the season. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will have four races to achieve this target, starting with the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend.

A first-lap collision between the pair cost Hamilton a chance to show his pace in Qatar, but Russell extracted immense performance from his W14 in his fight through the field after being relegated to the back of the pack at the end of the opening lap.

The Silver Arrows built on this pace in Austin last time out with Hamilton finishing the United States GP just two seconds behind race winner and reigning world champion Max Verstappen, only to be disqualified after the session following a post-race FIA investigation. Despite this slip-up, the pace was extremely encouraging for Mercedes.

Speaking in an address to the Mercedes fans, Allison said: “All four races differ in character, and we are very, very excited to go to them in a season where the points battle between us and Ferrari is pretty tight.

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“We would like nothing more than to have four clean and tidy races to end the season and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that in one of those four the dice might roll in our favour and perhaps do better than just a podium.”

The first chance to record that elusive first race win of the season will come at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday. This has often been a stumbling block for Mercedes in recent seasons with Red Bull showing dominant pace here back in 2021, but the Silver Arrows will remain confident that they can keep their momentum running.

Addressing the upcoming outing in Mexico, Allison explained: “We’ve got Mexico first, high altitude, thin air, a track where the asphalt is quite different to the ones we’ve just been at. 

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“And as long as we can keep the car cool there in the thin air of the Mexico track then I think we will be pretty decent. The corners ought to suit us, and the pace of the car should be good there.”

Mercedes are currently locked into an intense battle with Ferrari for P2 in the Constructor Championship heading into the final four races, while Hamilton still holds some hope of hunting down home hero Sergio Perez for second place in the Drivers’ Championship. 

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