Lewis Hamilton has rated his chances of sealing a race victory at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix this weekend.
Hamilton last secured a race win at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with Mercedes slipping back in the pecking order ever since the introduction of new technical regulations last year.
Its sole victory since the new cars came into play was at last season's race in Sao Paulo, with George Russell fending off team-mate Hamilton for the victory.
While Hamilton is anticipating that Red Bull will once again be the class of the field as it has been for much of the season, the seven-time World Champion has looked to a strategy advantage to win in Brazil.
“I anticipate the Red Bulls are going to blitz it because their car has been great but if that's not the case, then I'll be ready to take the fight to them,” Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.com.
“If it can be anything like Austin and we can get the strategy better then that would be incredible.
“And I came away empty-handed last year, so I don't plan on that this year.”
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Hamilton looking to long-term gains
Prior to Mercedes' slump in form, the German manufacturer won eight F1 titles in a row with Hamilton central to the Brackley-based squad's success.
Although the team has appeared strong over the last couple of races with Hamilton crossing the line second in the USA (before he was disqualified) and Mexico, the 38-year-old asserts he is looking to long-term gains.
“After the last couple of races, you get messages from people like ‘oh, it's looking good’. I'm like ‘it was looking good at the end of last year, too’,” he said.
“But we started 1.5 seconds behind at the start of the year. So I'm not dazzled by where we are currently.
“I'm proud… the only reason I'm on the podium is the great work that's gone in the background, but I'm more thinking quite long-term at the moment.
“And then short-term just trying to solidify second in the Constructors’ because that's so important for everyone within the team.”