Hamilton finished sixth in both back-to-back grands prix, but the manner in which the result came together felt different for the Briton.
In Baku Hamilton had qualified fifth and after losing positions due to an unfortunately timed safety car, he spent the entire second half of the race stuck behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, powerless to pass the struggling Spaniard.
But in Miami Hamilton did find a way through from a disappointing 13th place in qualifying, when traffic on his Q2 out-lap left his tyres outside the optimal temperature window.
In the second half of the race, Hamilton topped his series of overtakes by reeling in Charles Leclerc to take another sixth-place finish. Afterwards, the seven-time world champion said he enjoyed his comeback drive despite the end result being the same as in Baku one week prior.
“It was mega, just to be in a position [to overtake]. In the sprint race and the last race, I was going backwards and it is demoralising when you are going backwards,” he said.
“But it was great to have pace, to be seeing the cars up ahead and seeing the progress and knowing that we’re going to be battling with people. We had a couple of great overtakes as well, that is what I live for.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
The main difference for Hamilton is that this time Mercedes was able to take the fight to Ferrari as the Scuderia continued to struggle with inconsistent race pace, which is far inferior to its one-lap speed.
“Honestly, it felt great to see the Ferrari up ahead and to be catching them bit by bit. It is really impressive that they are really quick on a single lap, but I don’t know what was going on in that race,” Hamilton explained.
“To have come from 13th and get back into the hustle with them was great. I think if I qualified where I should have qualified, I would’ve had a much easier and smoother day, but I prefer days like this where there is a bit of adversity and you have to put it all together and deliver.”
Miami was the last race of Mercedes’ W14 launch spec ahead of significant changes coming to the floor, sidepod and suspension for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.
The Brackley team hopes its new-look W14 will provide a better platform to develop from and ease some of Hamilton’s and team-mate George Russell’s car handling concerns.