Lewis Hamilton has warned that Mercedes "can't forever rely" on reliability to enable them to keep on achieving podium finishes. Despite a difficult start to the 2022 season, the team have recorded 11 top three results, including back-to-back double podiums for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the French and Hungarian Grands Prix. However, there have been no wins for the Silver Arrows as of yet, with the squad unable to match the performance of Red Bull and Ferrari ahead.
Hamilton compares 2022 struggles to 2009
Discussing the situation with former McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen on Viaplay , Hamilton compared the start of the 2022 season to the 2009 campaign. "It's been a really challenging year," Hamilton explained. "I would say similar to the year we had in 2009, with the car that, [when] we arrived in the factory in February or January 2009, they said the car [was] looking good. "Then we got to the first test, and we were like, 'Whoa, it's a long way away from where we need to be'. "And as a team, we've gone through a similar process in terms of trying to strip away some things, rebuild, regroup, manoeuvre this car into a better place."
Performance needed along with reliability, warns Hamilton
Hamilton has been pleased to see the improvements from the W13 as the campaign has progressed, and reliability has remained a strong asset for Mercedes, with no mechanical failures affecting the team. This marks a contrast from many of their rivals. The seven-time World Champion has warned that more steps forward are needed in terms of performance, though. "We've had some really nice consistency in these last few races, which has been great," Hamilton said. "We're still lacking performance, which is a difficult thing because I think there's potential in this car, but we've had to depower it to stop it from bouncing. "We've had really good reliability, but we can't forever rely on reliability being the thing that keeps us on the podium, so we really need performance." Mercedes are currently third in the Constructors' Championship, and have closed the gap to second-placed Ferrari to 30 points.