Hamilton and George Russell completed the podium last time out in Barcelona, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, a sure sign that the upgrades they brought had delivered some value.
While Red Bull’s dominance is unlikely to be overthrown any time soon, the gap to the chasing pack is becoming smaller and it has given Hamilton hope as he arrives to a grand prix that nobody has won more times than he has.
“We have made progress,” he said. “Since the last race we’ve all been buzzing. The whole team has new energy.
“We have a North Star - we know where we’re going.
“We don’t know if this track suits our car and its characteristics.
“This is one of the drivers’ favourite circuits - it’s the city, the circuit, the energy.
“The track is a bit like a go-kart track, throwing the car over the kerbs, a big braking circuit which has always been my strength.
“We know that together we can get there if we keep our heads down and focus on the engineering, the science.
“I honestly think we have the best development rate. As good, if not better, than any team in the sport.”
Mercedes’ immediate battle, before worrying about Red Bull, may be with Aston Martin.
Their customer team shocked the F1 paddock at the start of 2023 by establishing themselves as the team directly behind Red Bull.
But they fell away at the Spanish Grand Prix, a result they hope was a one-off.
Aston Martin have unveiled some substantial upgrades for the F1 Canadian Grand Prix meaning the stakes are raised in their battle with Mercedes.