That comes after the seven-time world champion finished third in Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, just behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr., taking his first podium since the opening 2022 race in Bahrain.
While Hamilton never looked like challenging the frontrunners for victory, the pace gap at Montreal was significantly narrower than at previous Grands Prix.
“It feels great to be right in the middle of it all,” said the 37-year-old after the race.
“For a second, I kind of kept up with these guys. It gave me and the team a lot of hope that this car can do even more, the potential is there.
“When you have a full race distance, you find out a lot with the car. Take a lot today. Have really good reliability. Great work from the team.
“We just have to keep our heads down. I know where I’m losing against these guys, so I’ll focus on attacking to improve.
As well as his first podium since Bahrain, it was also the first time since the season opener that Hamilton had finished ahead of teammate George Russell, who finished fourth.
Despite the good result, Hamilton remains sixth overall, 34 points behind Russell, who is fourth, and 98 points behind leaders Verstappen.
While the porpoise problem that has hit Mercedes hard this year has not gone away, the weekend’s result marks a big improvement in the team’s performance and spirit from the last race in Azerbaijan, where Hamilton and Russell struggled with back pain .
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has always been one of Hamilton’s favorites, having clinched his maiden race win there in 2007, and the Briton has won seven grands prix at the track, a record he holds alongside Michael Schumacher.
“It was honestly one of the best feelings of the year to be back, especially in Montreal where I got my first win 15 years ago,” he added.
“And to be back up there, feeling the atmosphere and the crowd, was very special.”
MORE : ‘Right Racing’ – Max Verstappen extends championship lead after Canadian Grand Prix win
MORE : Pierre Gasly ‘100% confirmed’ to drive for AlphaTauri in 2023
For more stories like this, visit our sports page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/20/f1-lewis-hamilton-hopeful-after-impressive-canadian-gp-podium-16856868/ F1: Lewis Hamilton hopeful after impressive Canadian GP podium