Legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt is commonly attributed with the quote “second place is the primary loser.”
However from their feedback this week forward of the Dutch Grand Prix, it appears Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell would disagree.
It isn’t secret that Pink Bull is operating away with the 2023 Components 1 season. Max Verstappen and firm sit comfortably in first place within the Constructors’ Championship with 503 factors, double the quantity of Mercedes, who sit second with 247 factors on the season.
Pink Bull’s dominance has shifted the dialog from “if” they win their second-straight title, to “when.” Together with questions relating to whether or not Pink Bull can change into the primary staff in F1 historical past to brush the season.
Nevertheless, each Hamilton and Russell imagine that the second-place standing from Mercedes can be worthy of reward. Throughout Thursday’s media periods, each drivers made the case that second place was an incredible feat for the staff.
“I feel (being P2 at present) is a large achievement. I feel it’s one thing that’s been a little bit neglected if I’m trustworthy,” stated Hamilton when chatting with the media within the tv pen. “In the end as a result of we need to win, there has not been probably the most constructive narrative. However for us to be second within the Constructors’ Championship given the place the others began is fairly superb.”
“I really feel like as a staff we’ve gone from strength-to-strength this season. Clearly there was a number of expectation upon us going into the season and maybe why persons are calling our season a little bit of a failure,” stated Russell through the FIA press conferences. “After all, it’s removed from the place we wish it to be as a result of we need to be combating for championships, however to name P2 within the championship, 50 factors forward of P3 in the intervening time, a failure is way from actuality.”
Now that the second half of the season is underway, each drivers have one objective in thoughts: Holding the staff in second place. “We all know we’ve received lots to enhance. We’ve made actually good progress and I feel going into the second half of the season, we will be there to hopefully choose up any items that fall our manner. We’ll deal with each race as a possibility,” added Russell on Thursday.
That effort received off to a stable begin in FP1, with Russell posting a P11, and Hamilton up on the prime of the timing charts with a P3, behind solely Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.
“My objective is to ensure the Crew maintain second within the Constructors’ and seek out second within the Drivers’ Championship,” added Hamilton on Thursday.
To this point, so good.