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Hamilton highlights where Mercedes have been 'exceptional' this season

Lewis Hamilton has highlighted the key area where he believes Mercedes have shone in a difficult 2022 F1 season.

Lewis Hamilton believes that car reliability has been an "exceptional" area for the Mercedes team in a below-par season. Following an upheaval in the regulations for the start of this season, Mercedes have found themselves trailing Ferrari and Red Bull. They are yet to win a race this season, but sit third in the Constructors' Championship, 44 points behind Ferrari, who have the faster car but have had a season of errors and reliability issues. Mercedes have shown signs of improved pace in the last few races; they challenged for the victory at Silverstone and were able to out-race Red Bull's Sergio Perez at Paul Ricard. However, Hamilton dismissed the idea that Mercedes are through the worst of their problems, and highlighted where Mercedes have succeeded and failed so far this season.

Hamilton gives his take on Mercedes' progress

"We can't say that we've turned a corner. We've been on the corner for ages and we've been progressing around it very slowly," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 . "Silverstone was a great fight, and we've had really good consistency. I think in the last race, we looked like we took a step back from the others, or they took a step forward again. "Every single lap had a deficit of almost a second, but our race pace is a little bit better than our qualifying pace. "Our reliability has been exceptional, so that's been very positive. "We've also relied a lot on the others not finishing, so I think that overshadows the fact that we still have a lot of work [to do]."

Hamilton: Our set-up issues are improving

One of the key problems Mercedes have encountered in 2022 is the narrow operating window of the car. Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff has frequently highlighted the difficulties in figuring out their W13, even calling their issues "extra-terrestrial" . Their problems with porpoising have been one of the key talking points of 2022, which prompted the FIA to issue Technical Directives to combat the phenomenon. Hamilton conceded that Mercedes have now developed a better understanding about how to set up their cars. "I'm enjoying it more, because I'm getting in a much better place with the balance of the car, and in a much better place with where we put the set-up," added Hamilton. "Bono (Hamilton's race engineer, Peter Bonnington) and I and the rest of the guys are definitely a little happier working with the car and [we've] started to see some progress in terms of set-up and those sorts of things."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix