Lewis Hamilton says title 'not impossible' for Mercedes, but sizeable gains needed
British star all-but writes off chances of taking Silverstone win
Last Updated: 13/06/13 12:07pm
Lewis Hamilton: Not expecting to beat the Bulls or Ferraris at Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes need to find a "big step" with their W04 if they are to have a serious say in the World Championship fight - but isn't expecting an immediate breakthrough for the British GP.
While the 2008 title winner effectively wrote off his own title hopes even before arriving at his new Brackley team in January, Hamilton, despite experiencing a few ups and downs over the first seven races, still sits fourth in the championship, 55 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel.
Mercedes' attempts to convert the W04's prodigious single-lap speed into stronger race performances have appeared to have taken a step forward over the last two races, with Nico Rosberg winning in Monaco and Hamilton finishing a promising third in Canada, but neither circuit contains the kind of high-speed corners where tyres are really put to the test.
Silverstone, the next race on the calendar in two weeks' time, features a multitude of such turns and Hamilton has already conceded his home race is going to prove a "real challenge" for the Anglo-German team.
Hamilton praises tyre performance
But although he isn't going into the British event anticipating adding to his 2008 home win for McLaren owing to the strong race pace of Red Bull and Ferrari, he isn't completely ruling out of a sustained championship challenge yet either.
"I didn't leave Montreal thinking I'm going to Silverstone with the possibility of winning," the Daily Mirror quoted Hamilton as saying.
"Vettel was pulling away from me at a second per lap in Montreal. We're not going to gain a second before the next race. But we can definitely beat the rest.
"As for the championship there are still 12 races left. It's not impossible. But we need to make another big step with the car."
Despite cutting something of a downbeat figure through the Canadian GP weekend - the 28-year-old revealed after the race that he has "just got stuff on my mind" - Hamilton says he is doing his best to keep motivation levels high at Mercedes and pushing the team to accelerate their development programme.
"I've just said to the guys we need to work harder," he was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
"We have a great qualifying car, and it feels great in the race now. But we need to make another big step. There are things on other cars which we haven't got.
"Things on the Ferrari and Red Bull, and I'll say: 'Why haven't we got that?' And they'll say: 'We're testing that in three weeks.' And I'll say: 'Why not test it now?' I always try to keep pushing the guys."