Lewis Hamilton says he is not entirely comfortable with his Mercedes car in 2023 but is optimistic that new upgrades will help improve his performance.
The seven-time world champion has not started the new season in title-chasing fashion, and had his lowest finish of the year so far when crossing the line sixth at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
There was more frustration for Hamilton in Baku at the weekend with an untimely safety car dropping him down the field, following his first pit stop.
Hamilton, seeking a record-breaking eighth world title, has made no secret of the fact he feels his car is not in the best place right now.
"The car is really hard to drive this year," he said following Sunday's race. "But every now and then it feels better for me."
Hamilton remaining calm ahead of planned upgrades
After nearly a decade of domination in F1, Mercedes have had to settle for a supporting role in the last two seasons with Red Bull becoming the leading force.
Last year saw Hamilton fail to win a race in a single season for the first time in his 15-year career as the Silver Arrows struggled to adjust to the new technical specifications.
It was hoped they would close the gap to Red Bull at the start of 2023 but that has not yet materialised with Hamilton and teammate George Russell fourth and seventh in the championship respectively.
Hamilton came second in the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park but otherwise finished fifth in the Bahrain and Saudi Arabian races, while sixth was all he could manage in Baku.
Despite their comparatively slow start to the season, Hamilton says there are positives to take from the weekend and believes a series of upgrades could kickstart Mercedes.
"Today wasn't perfect but I had pretty decent pace," he added. "It just shows we are on the right path and I think once we get the upgrades, we'll be in a much better place."
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