Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has issued a warning to the rest of the drivers on the grid, claiming that he “finally has a race car” and believes his first race win of the season isn’t too far away.
The seven-time world champion has received a boost from the Mercedes camp, with the new engine upgrade set to make the team far more competitive than it has been in the first half of the season.
As a result, Hamilton was clearly feeling far more optimistic about his chances, having been far from happy with the Mercedes W13 during the early stages of the 2022 campaign.
Speaking about how he is feeling after coming back from the summer break, Hamilton confessed that there is a renewed sense of believe.
“I definitely do [feel the first win is not far away],” he said.
“We have been improving and this consistency has come up in the recent races.
“The team has made great progress, everyone pulling together and continuing to push and the car has become more of a racing car, which is not particularly what it was at the beginning of the year.”
Ever since making his debut in 2007, Hamilton has won at least one race in every season that he has competed in.
Hamilton believes he will soon win a race
The Stevenage-born driver said his recent trip to Namibia, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania has re-energised him on the back of a difficult season.
“It was a very grounding experience to see the incredible landscape of the different countries we went to and a humbling experience to see people live with nothing in a house made of sticks, literally twigs,” Hamilton said.
“No shoes, no socks, and going about their daily lives without social media. And they didn’t take anything for granted which was quite beautiful to see.”
Hamilton has tasted success four times in Belgium and with Mercedes providing him with fresh updates, there is potential for him to win his first race in Spa.
However, competition will certainly come in the form of Max Verstappen, who currently enjoys a huge lead at the top of the drivers’ standings.
However, Hamilton believes the gap between Mercedes and Red Bull is becoming smaller.
“The last race was the best showing that we have had so far and that was a huge boost that we can close that gap,” he said.
“It will be tough but we will keep our heads down. The others are doing an amazing job, but I do believe we can close the gap.”