Hamilton keeps expectations in check

Autosport

Lewis Hamilton insists that all he wants from his first year with Mercedes in Formula 1 is to see the team make progress and to settle it with his new squad.

Hamilton has played down expectations ever since announcing that he was quitting long-time backer and employer McLaren and putting his faith in the then-struggling Mercedes works team.

At the launch of the new W04 at Jerez on Monday, Hamilton said as the car was essentially a development of last year's Mercedes, he was not expecting an overnight transformation.

"I have no idea where it is at the moment apart from seeing some aero results, and the guys have made some improvements, but it is still an evolution of last year's car," he said.

"This year is about trying to get settled in the team, get a good working relationship and working to steer this car in the right direction and also next year's car.

"We have to deliver as a team, of course, but I am not a miracle worker. I'm going to work as hard as I can with the team to make steps forward."

He said his initial focus would just be on finishing races, before building towards podiums and wins.

"The target is to improve on last year," said Hamilton. "Last year they didn't have a strong year.

"They got one win, but they didn't have enough podiums, didn't have anywhere near the success they deserved.

"This year is about one step at a time. Finish the first race, getting on the podium, and then trying to win races."

Mercedes won last year's Chinese Grand Prix with Nico Rosberg, but claimed only two podium finishes thereafter - and none at all in the final 12 races of the campaign.

That led to Mercedes slipping back to fifth in the constructors' championship with its lowest season score yet.

Mercedes F1 W04 - full coverage:

Mercedes' new W04 makes debut

Mercedes W04 in pictures

Hamilton keeps expectations in check

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