Hamilton: Mercedes in 'good place' with tyres
19 August 2017 – Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes is in a "good place" with its understanding of Pirelli's tyres, after problems during the early stages of the campaign.
Hamilton conceded in Australia that Mercedes was "losing" to Ferrari on tyre usage after he trailed Sebastian Vettel, and the marque had further problems at other events.
Valtteri Bottas struggled with rear tyre wear in Bahrain, having started from pole, while Hamilton lacked pace on Ultra Softs in Russia and Monaco, contributing to his sub-par results.
However, Mercedes has since taken three wins from five events, with Hamilton also displaying strong pace in Azerbaijan prior to headrest issue.
"I think we've come a long way, we're on top of it, but there are still traps that we're aware of," Hamilton said of Mercedes' tyre usage.
"We have blistering, in the last few races, [as] the cars get faster and we're pushing the tyres harder, [so] that's appearing.
"It's a constant study, something we're surveying all the time, it's the same for me as a driver.
"I sit with the tyre engineers and I pick their brains, trying to make sure that I understand how to utilise them more, how far I can push them.
"I think that's going to be an ongoing thing as we go through these next races, we'll continue to learn more about them.
"We're definitely in a good place with them, but still some surprises that could come up I guess."
Hamilton also feels that Mercedes has started weekends on the right foot on a more regular basis.
"I do believe I'm extracting everything I can from it [the car], the great work the team is doing is enabling me to exploit it more," he commented.
"We've had weekends where we've started on the wrong foot and it's been a real struggle to get the car in the right [window].
"Now we're starting weekends on the right foot and that's really helping us get a good lead into the weekend."
Hamilton heads to the Belgian Grand Prix facing a 14-point deficit to title rival Vettel.