Lewis Hamilton has no desire to leave Mercedes but urged the team to make "bold decisions" to close the gap upon their Formula One rivals.  

Having won the Constructors' Championship for eight consecutive seasons from 2014, Mercedes conceded their crown to Red Bull last year.

Hopes of reclaiming that honour in 2023 already seem to be dead in the water after just one race, with Mercedes adrift of Red Bull and Ferrari, while also falling behind Aston Martin.

Those disappointments have led to speculation regarding Hamilton's future, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, and post-race comments in Bahrain added fuel to the fire – having told Mercedes to "own up" to their mistakes.

Hamilton has since admitted his words were not chosen wisely and, speaking ahead of Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he expressed his commitment to Mercedes.

"In hindsight, it wasn't necessarily the best choice of words. Of course there are times when you're not in agreement with certain team members but what's important is we continue to communicate, we continue to work together," he told a press conference.

"I still have 100 per cent belief in this team. It is my family and I've been here a long time, so I don't plan on going anywhere else.

"But we all need a kick, we all need to get in. The proof is in the pudding; we've seen what the performance is and how people are extracting the performance. We've got to now start making some bold decisions, some big moves in order to close the gap to these guys.

"[Red Bull] will run away with it, most likely, this year, unless Ferrari can stop them, which we'll wait and see. But as I said, we're hopeful we'll be able to close the gap, but at that point it will probably be too late in terms of fighting for a championship, but we can still turn some heads."

Hamilton likened Mercedes' position to the one they found themselves in last year and, having seen the team improve slowly throughout that campaign, is optimistic of a similar response.

"We're in a similar mentality to what we were last year, where we're just working as hard as we can as a team, try to remain positive. Obviously it's a shock when you work out the car is not where you want it to be," he added.

"But everyone is working on the solution and I have 100 per cent confidence in everyone doing their job. You don't all of a sudden lose the ability to build great cars. We're just not where we need to be, where we want to be, and we have to keep working on it.

The Formula One season is only one race old and the question is already being asked if anybody can catch Red Bull. Charles Leclerc may already have abandoned that hope for this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Red Bull coasted to a one-two at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, world champion Max Verstappen prevailing ahead of Sergio Perez to put their history of slow starts to bed in emphatic fashion.

Their superiority was hammered home by familiar troubles for Leclerc, who failed to finish the race due to engine trouble.

Ferrari replaced his control electronics ahead of the race, only to discover the new electronics were to blame for his retirement, meaning they would again need to be replaced ahead of Sunday's race in Jeddah.

Only two sets of control electronics are permitted to be used in a season, and Ferrari being forced to put in a third set will see Leclerc take on a 10-place grid penalty.

Leclerc faces a huge challenge to get on the podium, but Ferrari are set to take updates to Saudi Arabia, with team principal Frederic Vasseur confident they can greatly improve on their efforts in Bahrain, where Carlos Sainz was a distant fourth

"We struggled a bit with the balance over the weekend, it means that we have mega room for improvements on this path with our package," Vasseur said.

"With what we had in Bahrain, I think we had a lot of room for improvement in terms of driveability. For sure we can't be satisfied with the situation, and I want to do a step forward.

"The characteristics of Jeddah are completely different compared to the previous one to Bahrain in terms of grip, in terms of rugosity and layout of the track, so it's completely different story.

"Already it will suit a little bit more to what we have today. And then we'll also bring some updates to Jeddah and I hope that we'll do a step forward."
 

Red Bull eye F1 first

Verstappen won from pole in Bahrain and, if Red Bull top the timesheets in Saudi Arabia and go on to win with either driver, they will make Formula One history.

No team has ever taken pole and won the race in each of the first two grands prix, but Red Bull appear perfectly equipped to change that with their seemingly sizeable race pace advantage over the field.

And they have recent history of triumphing on Saturday and Sunday at Jeddah. Perez qualified on pole last year before Verstappen prevailed in the race.

Alonso on brink of century

Aside from Red Bull, Aston Martin were the team on the receiving end of most praise in Bahrain as Fernando Alonso scored a podium on his debut with the team.

It was the two-time world champion's 99th in F1. Should he make it 100 in Saudi Arabia, he will join Lewis Hamilton (191), Michael Schumacher (155), Sebastian Vettel (122), Alain Prost (106) and Kimi Raikkonen (103) as the sixth man to achieve the feat.

Alonso is hopeful the car will continue to get better, saying: "Sure, we need to wait for Jeddah, Australia. They are very different tracks, so I'm curious to see if we can keep this form in different circuits.

"But, on the other hand, I think the car that we have now is just a very basic car that we launched and we start the season with this completely new concept.

"I think there is a lot more to come in terms of development with this project, so I'm optimistic for that."
 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 25

2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 18

3. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) 15

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 12

5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 10

Constructors

1. Red Bull 43

2. Aston Martin 23

3. Mercedes 16

4. Ferrari 12

5. Alfa Romeo 4

Charles Leclerc will receive a 10-place grid penalty at this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Ferrari fitted a third electronics control unit. 

At the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Ferrari needed to use a second ECU before Leclerc retired from the race after suffering another problem with the component.

Across a season, drivers are restricted to using just two ECUs and going over the permitted amount results in a grid penalty.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur said: "On Sunday, we had two different issues. The first one was on the Sunday morning, when we did the fire up, and the second one was in the race.

"Unfortunately, it was two times the control electronics box and it’s something that we never experienced in the past.

"I hope now it’s under control. We have a deep analysis on this.

"Unfortunately, we’ll have to take the penalty in Jeddah because we have only a pool of two control units for the season."

Leclerc was a dejected figure in Bahrain, where championship favourites Red Bull claimed a dominant one-two with winner Max Verstappen coming in a huge 39 seconds ahead of third-placed Fernando Alonso.

The Ferrari driver, who was third at time of his retirement, described Red Bull as being "on another planet" but Vasseur has no worries about Leclerc's mindset or his team's chances this season. 

"It’s obvious Charles is motivated," added Vasseur, who is in his debut year as Ferrari boss.

"We have done one race of 23. He’s full push with the team, trying to get the best for everyone.

"The penalty is not good news, but it’s not the end of the season. Let’s see what happens in Jeddah, and what could be the outcome, even with the penalty.

"But don't imagine for even half a second he could be demotivated.

"He's fully convinced, he's working with us, pushing the team, pushing everybody in a positive way and nothing else."

If Ferrari need to replace any further parts of Leclerc's car in Saudi Arabia, the grid penalty will increase further than 10 grid spots.

Jenson Button will enter three NASCAR Cup Series races in 2023, debuting at Circuit of the Americas on March 26.

Button won the 2009 Formula One world championship with Brawn, later driving for Mercedes before leaving the series in 2017.

The Briton has since tried his hand at rival series but had not until now raced in NASCAR.

Button will drive Rick Ware Racing's No. 15 Ford Mustang in three races, following up his Austin, Texas bow with entries in the inaugural Chicago Street Race on July 2 and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on August 13.

"Obviously, racing a Cup car is very different than what I'm used to," Button said.

"It's a lot heavier, with a lot less power and, basically, no downforce. It's got a sequential gearbox where you need to blip the throttle, so there's lots of stuff to learn in a very short space of time.

"But I just get excited about that new challenge, and when I throw myself into something, I am 100 per cent in.

"I'm not just doing it for fun in some one-off. I want to be competitive, and I know that to be competitive, it's going to take a bit of time. That's why doing these three races works very well this season."

Lewis Hamilton urged Mercedes engineers to "own up" for their performance issues after a slow start to the season.

The seven-time world champion finished fifth in the opening race of the 2023 Formula One season in Bahrain, behind both Red Bull cars, Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Any hope that Mercedes would be able to compete at the front of the grid following a woeful campaign in 2022 is already on the back burner, with the zero-pods concept continuing to attract criticism.

Team principal Toto Wolff admitted on Sunday that "radical" changes are needed, a view that Hamilton clearly shares.

Major improvements for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix later this month are unlikely, but Hamilton is keen for the engineers to own up to their errors.

"Last year, I told them the issues that are with the car," he told the BBC's Chequered Flag podcast.

"Like, I've driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs, I know what a car doesn't need.

"And I think it's really about accountability, it's about owning up and saying 'yeah, you know what, we didn't listen to you, it's not where it needs to be and we've got to work'.

"We've got to look into the balance through the corners, look at all the weak points and just huddle up as a team, that's what we do.

"We're still multi World Champions you know, it's just they haven't got it right this time, they didn't get it right last year, but that doesn't mean we can't get it right moving forwards."

Max Verstappen believes Fernando Alonso can end his decade-long wait for a Formula One win this season after an encouraging start for Aston Martin.

The Spaniard finished third in his first race for his new team at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last Sunday, which Verstappen won ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Alonso signed a multi-year deal to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin, making the move from Alpine.

The 41-year-old, who took a two-year sabbatical from F1 before returning in 2021, has not taken the top step of the podium since his victory at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix on home soil.

But reigning champion Verstappen thinks Alonso can add to his tally of 32 wins this year.

The Dutchman said: "I hope so for Fernando as well because he has had a few years where there was not really a possibility to fight at the front, so I'm happy to see him sitting here already in race one.

"I think also again, I mentioned it before, but at Aston Martin, they really have the spirit and drive, they want to win and they've hired a lot of good people.

"So I guess it can only get better for them. And I think for this year, difficult to say if they're going to challenge for the championship, but race wins are definitely on the table.

"I've been in the same position where some races I'm finishing 20 to 40 seconds behind the winners and you still win two or three races a year because sometimes there are some tracks which really suit your car and everything just comes together and you can win a race with maybe sometimes a bit of help or luck.

"But for sure they have a really strong package. And now of course it's all about developing it further."

Toto Wolff believes Mercedes need to make "radical" changes after suffering "one of the worst days in racing" at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Red Bull dominated in Sakhir on Sunday, Max Verstappen leading a one-two ahead of Sergio Perez.

Lewis Hamilton could only finish fifth and his Silver Arrows team-mate George Russell was seventh in the first race of 2023.

Seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton crossed the line 50.977 seconds after Verstappen, who is a strong favourite to clinch a third consecutive title.

Mercedes team principal Wolff knows his team are unable to challenge Red Bull and must go back to the drawing board.

"One of the worst days in racing," Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

"Really not good at all, we were just lacking pace front, right, and centre.

"Red Bull is just on a different planet. That is what hurts because they are so far ahead, it reminds me of our best years because we just put a second on everybody else.

"That is the benchmark and we have to do one step after the other to come back and we can do that. We can, absolutely we can.

"I think it needs to be much more radical in the steps than hope for a three-tenths upgrade."

The second race of the season will be staged in Saudi Arabia on March 19.

George Russell says Red Bull have got this year's Formula One championship "sewn up" and declared "they should win every single this year" after dominating the season opener in Bahrain.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez claimed a comfortable one-two finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix having both started at the front of the grid.

The reigning world champion won by 11.987 seconds from his Red Bull team-mate, who was almost 40 seconds ahead of Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso who rounded out the podium.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said Red Bull were on a "different planet" after the race and felt his team would need to completely abandon its own cap concept.

Russell, who finished down in seventh, reiterated that sentiment, pointing to Red Bull's probable dominance in 2023.

"Red Bull have got this championship sewn up," Russell said. "I don't think anyone will be fighting with them this year. They should win every single race this year, is my bet.

"They've got it easy at the moment. They can do what they like. They might not be on pole all the time because we know Ferrari are very competitive in qualifying but when it comes to race pace they're in a very strong position."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner downplayed Russell's comments, insisting it was far too early to be talking like that.

"Twenty-three races is a marathon," Horner said. "It's about being consistent over the campaign.

"Today was a great start. We full expect our rivals to come back hard in the future races."

Lewis Hamilton called for Mercedes to implement upgrades as soon as possible after a disappointing opening race at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion was well off the pace of the Red Bulls, who secured a one-two finish, and came fourth after losing his battle with former team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Aston Martin's show of strength is a particularly sore point for Mercedes, who supply their engine, gearbox and rear suspension, and fans may fear another tough season is on the cards for the team.

A disappointing campaign last term saw Mercedes respond to provide some competitiveness in the final rounds but Hamilton is keen for a much swifter reply this year.

"I thought the team did a great job in terms of pit stops and just unfortunately the car is not there at the moment," he told Sky Sports F1.

"We are just lacking downforce and we have got to work really hard to add that ASAP.

"Anything from in the wind tunnel, we need it tomorrow. We have really got to push massively to try and close that gap."

Team principal Toto Wolff is equally keen for developmental upgrades, but he feels a more radical approach is required.

The fact Aston Martin have impressed has provided some optimism, though, if the team can pinpoint where their success stems from.

"Red Bull is just on a different planet. That is what hurts because they are so far head, it reminds me of our best years because we just put a second on everybody else," he said.

"That is the benchmark and we have to do one step after the other to come back and we can do that. We can, absolutely we can.

"I think it needs to be much more radical in the steps than hope for a three-tenths upgrade.

"They [Aston Martin] deserve what they have done, they did a good job. The good news for us is there is a lot of Mercedes in there.  To pinpoint it, that would be helpful in the recovery."

Charles Leclerc believes Red Bull are on "another planet" to their Formula One rivals after they dominated the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen's title defence got off to a comfortable start with a victory on Sunday, with his team-mate Sergio Perez second and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso in third.

Leclerc looked on course for a podium finish for Ferrari, but an engine failure led to his retirement.

The issue came despite Ferrari changing a component ahead of the race, one of only two permitted alterations allowed over the course of the season, which could lead to further pain for the Scuderia in future races.

While the cause of the problem was unknown to Leclerc, he made it clear the team must secure as many points as possible to keep Red Bull in sight.

"I have no idea what happened to the car when I lost the power, the only thing I know is that I did, I don't know for what reason," he told Sky Sports F1.

"I don't know if it is related to the change we had this morning, so I don't want to comment on that, but it is a shame.

"We expected to be on the back foot this weekend, especially in the race to Red Bull. That team is on another planet right now.

"But that's what exactly why most weekends we need to make sure we bring maximum points possible home and we didn't manage to do so."

Max Verstappen started the defence of his Formula One title with a comfortable victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The two-time world champion was in front from the start and never truly came under threat, leading a Red Bull one-two ahead of Sergio Perez to secure his team's first opening-weekend victory since 2011.

With Charles Leclerc forced into a retirement due to an engine issue, Red Bull's closest challenger was Fernando Alonso, who worked his way through the field for a podium finish.

But a rejuvenated Aston Martin were no match for a dominant Verstappen and Red Bull in what proved to be a comfortable race for the defending champions.

Leclerc, who had a power unit change before the start, leapfrogged Perez to take second place at the start but could not stay ahead of the Mexican, who regained his grid position after the first round of pit stops on lap 26.

Mercedes' fight with Aston Martin was the battle to watch, Lewis Hamilton completing an undercut on Alonso before a stellar move on lap 38 saw the Spaniard move ahead again.

Engine problems for Leclerc led to his retirement three laps later, opening the door for Alonso to battle Carlos Sainz for a podium spot after the virtual safety car was deployed.

Alonso was able to catch his compatriot on lap 46 to clinch third spot in his first race for Aston Martin, though there was no challenge for Red Bull as they eased to only their second ever win in the first race of the year.

Ferrari frustration

Having had to retire from the lead twice in the 2022 season due to engine issues, Leclerc would have hoped those problems were a thing of the past heading into Ferrari's 2023 campaign.

Never appearing to have the pace to put the Red Bull duo under threat, calamity struck with another forced retirement in a nightmare start to the season.

Ocon's Alpine agony

Esteban Ocon's season did not get off to a good start, with the Frenchman given three time penalties over the course of the race.

An initial five-second penalty came for incorrect grid position, with a 10-second penalty following for failing to serve that correctly and another five-second penalty issued for speeding in the pit lane before the Alpine was eventually retired.

 

IN THE POINTS

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +11.987

3. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) +36.637

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +48.052

5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +50.977

6. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +54.502

7. George Russell (Mercedes) +55.873

8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +1:12.647

9. Pierre Gasly (Alpine) +1:13.753

10. Alexander Albon (Williams) +1:20.870

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 25

2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 18

3. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) 15

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 12

5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 10

Constructors

1. Red Bull 43

2. Aston Martin 23

3. Mercedes 16

4. Ferrari 12

5. Alfa Romeo 4

Charles Leclerc has taken a new power unit component ahead of the Formula One season opener in Bahrain.

The Ferrari driver, who starts third on the grid behind the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, has a new energy store (ES) on his car.

No penalty will be issued for the Bahrain Grand Prix, though it leaves Ferrari in a challenging position for the remainder of the season as only two such changes are allowed over the course of the campaign.

The F1 season in 2023 will see a record-breaking 23 races on the calendar, Las Vegas having been added to the schedule.

Leclerc looked to be Verstappen's strongest rival last season, winning two of the opening three races, but reliability issues and strategy errors derailed his charge as he finished 146 points behind the Dutchman.

Changes were made at Ferrari ahead of the new season, Frederic Vasseur replacing Mattias Binotto as team principal.

Toto Wolff conceded Mercedes must change their car design in order to return to the top of Formula One.

Mercedes endured a dismal 2022 season, with Lewis Hamilton suffering the first winless campaign of his F1 career.

Much of their struggles were put down to issues with the car, but Mercedes stuck with their unique "zero pod" design for the 2023 season, despite the success of Red Bull's "side pod" model.

Yet after a disappointing qualification session that saw George Russell place in sixth and Hamilton in seventh for Sunday's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Wolff confirmed changes will have to be made.

He said: "I don't think this package is going to be competitive, eventually.

"We gave it our best go also over the [off-season] and now we just need to all regroup, sit down with the engineers who are totally not dogmatic about anything and decide what is the development direction we want to pursue in order to be competitive to win races.

"It's not only like last year that you're scoring podiums and eventually you get there.

"I'm sure we can win races this season but it's really the mid-and long-term that we need to look at which decisions you need to take."

Wolff believes Mercedes "gave it our best shot" but ultimately the team must accept their model has not worked.

"We hit our targets. That's why we gave it our best shot," he continued. "The moment comes and the stopwatch comes out and that showed us that it's simply not good enough.

"We haven't got enough downforce and we need to find solutions to fix that."

Two-time reigning world champion Max Verstappen claimed pole position in Saturday's qualification, with team-mate Sergio Perez completing a front-row lockout for Red Bull.

Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will start in third and fourth respectively, while Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso occupies fifth on the grid ahead of Russell and Hamilton.

After a close-season of significant change, the starting grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix has a familiar look with Max Verstappen starting the new campaign on pole ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Pre-season testing at Sakhir had suggested the reigning world champion and his team would maintain their superiority to start the 2023 campaign, and further evidence to back up that point was provided in Q3.

Ferrari topped the timesheets in the opening two qualifying sessions, but it was Verstappen who reassumed command in the top-10 shoot-out with a time of one minute and 29.708 seconds.

Ominously for the two Ferraris on the second row, Charles Leclerc in third and Carlos Sainz in fourth, Verstappen's lap came following some significant struggles with the balance of the car, issues Red Bull fixed in time for the Dutchman to set the pace and put himself in position to dominate on race day.

Verstappen told the post-qualifying press conference: "I'm particularly happy because my whole weekend up until qualifying was very difficult.

"I couldn't really find the comfortable balance I had in testing and I was just struggling a lot to just get the car together, really. I went into Q1 and everything already felt a bit better, but it was still not, let's say, perfect. So yeah, I'm very happy then in Q3 that we could put these laps in.

"I still think it's not perfect, but in a better direction. So, for sure, for the next race we will have to analyse a bit why from the test to the race weekend it's so different for us, and also for me driving wise.

"But nevertheless, we are sitting here with two cars. So coming off last year I think this is again a very strong start for us. So yeah, very happy with that.

"Luckily in qualifying that's probably the best balance I've had throughout the weekend so far."

Asked about the race, he added: "That should normally be our stronger point than the one-lap pace. So hopefully we can show that again tomorrow."

Verstappen, though, knows he can take little for granted, acknowledging the field is closer than it was last season.

In Q1, first-placed Sainz and Nyck De Vries in 19th were separated by just over a second and, in addition to looking over his shoulder at the Scuderia, Verstappen may also have to concern himself with the threat of Aston Martin, who saw Fernando Alonso qualify fifth in his debut for the team ahead of the two Mercedes.

"They are all very close to us," Verstappen said when asked about to name his closest challengers. "Of course, we have shown really good race pace but we still need to show that tomorrow, and a lot of things can happen also during a race, which sometimes is not in your control.

"So yeah, we just, of course, need to focus on ourselves and try to do the best we can. And hopefully no crazy things will happen."

But Leclerc did not express much hope of Ferrari overhauling Red Bull in the race.

"I think we are only happy if we win," said Leclerc. "But again, realistically, they seem to be very, very quick.

"So I think in those weekends where we are a little bit underneath, that's exactly those weekend that we need to maximise and, and try to get what we can in terms of points.

"So yeah, if a win is possible tomorrow, I will go for it. If not, we'll try and get the maximum points."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff will do anything it takes to see Lewis Hamilton win his record-breaking eighth world title.

Wolff would go as far as pushing Hamilton "around the track" if it meant the 38-year-old clinching his eighth Formula One triumph.

That would see Hamilton surpass Michael Schumacher, with whom he shares the record of seven championships.

Hamilton and Mercedes endured a difficult campaign last year, however, as he suffered the first winless season of his F1 career.

Mercedes' 2023 season did not off to the greatest start on Saturday, with Hamilton qualifying seventh and his team-mate George Russell in sixth for Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

But Wolff is sure they will have more success than in 2022, and he will go to extremes to ensure Hamilton gets his eighth title at some stage.

"We're going to get his eighth. He has, compared to [Aston Martin's Fernando] Alonso, another four years in him as a minimum so we just need to get it done," Wolff told Sky Sports.

"Even if I have to push him around the track to win the eighth I am going to do everything that is needed."

Hamilton himself was confident he could close the gap on pole-sitter Max Verstappen in Sunday's season opener, and Wolff echoed the sentiment even if he conceded it was an ultimately disappointing qualifying session.

He added: "The gap is not ridiculous considering we only ran one tyre at the end but it is not where we want to be. 

"We are continuing to develop the concept and thinking we could land it and fight for pole position and that wasn't the case today. 

"That is the gap and this is what we need to find, or more, to win. 

"We could have potentially overtaken Alonso [in fifth] with both cars but this is where we are. We are super critical with ourselves and what we need to achieve.

"We are looking at everything to get it right with the concept, should we have reacted earlier, all of that.

"Everybody in the engineering team thinks like that and we just need to get our act together."

It was a similar story for Russell, who said: "Our goal was to make sure we've got a car we can build upon and that there aren't any significant problems.

"We spent probably three-quarters of last year problem solving and now I feel we've got a car which is nice to drive.

"It generally feels like a good car, and now we can focus on adding downforce and performance which is what the team have done for so long. 

"There are definitely signs to be positive, but we've got a lot to improve."

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