Hamilton: I really believe we can win a race this year

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is confident he will win again with Mercedes this season after recent upgrades to his car.

The 37-year-old Briton said winning Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, home of rivals Red Bull and a favorite track of their championship leader Max Verstappen, would be difficult, but not impossible.

Hamilton is the only Formula 1 driver to have won a race in every season he has competed in, but has now gone 11 races in a row without a win – the longest drought of an F1 career that started with McLaren in 2007.

“Earlier this year I was definitely not sure if we could ever win with this car,” he told reporters at the Red Bull Ring on Thursday.

“It’s not the way we like to think, but it was a feeling that it’s a long, long way to catch up with everyone knowing the progress everyone is making.

“And then we just had these last two races which were quite strong and it really encouraged us to say to ourselves that we are moving in the right direction, that there is really potential in the car and with a little more digging and a little more hard work, hopefully we can get a little closer to a chance to win,” he added.

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“So I really believe we can win a race this year,” said the Mercedes ace.

The sport’s most successful driver, with 103 Grand Prix wins, finished third in the last two races after starting the season with a bouncy, uncompetitive car.

In Canada last month after Friday’s first test he said his car was a “disaster”, but champions Mercedes delivered a major upgrade at Silverstone last weekend.

Hamilton has won a record eight times at Silverstone and he led there again last Sunday, the first time he has done so this season. His car also seemed as quick as Ferrari, which won with Spaniard Carlos Sainz.

“At Silverstone there was definitely potential to win the race,” Hamilton said. “With our current performances, we are not exactly at the same level as the two teams before us. We needed everything to line up.

“We always struggled in Austria, so it’s going to be difficult to win here knowing the combination of corners. But not impossible,” he concluded.Reporting by Alan Baldwin)

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