Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of securing three straight wins for the first time in a year should be significantly boosted ahead of the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
After back-to-back wins in Brazil and Qatar, Hamilton moved to eight points behind championship leader Max Verstappen with two races to go.
The first of these takes place December 3-5 on the newly established Jeddah Street Circuit, which has claimed to be the fastest street track in the world.
The first suggestion is that the site will favor Mercedes, with the team expected to return to the engine that propelled Hamilton to victory at Interlagos, where he gained 24 places in 95 laps in the São Paulo Sprint and Grand Prix following a change. engine.
Evaluating Mercdes’ confidence ahead of the Jeddah race, Mercedes Track Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin said: “This is another unknown and we have seen some pretty significant variations in performance over the last few races. .
“Now if we look at the Saudi track, I think that should be fine with us. For Lewis, we have the most powerful engine to go in the car, which is going to give him a useful boost.”
Hamilton is currently on his last two power units for the campaign, with Shovlin confirming that the “less powerful” of the pair have been used in Qatar.
Despite issues with the PUs this season, which have affected customers McLaren, Aston Martin and Williams, as well as the factory team, Shovlin insists they are “in the right place at the moment”.
Shovlin doesn’t want to get carried away too much, however, given situations from the past.
“The [Jeddah] The track should be fine for the car, but we probably would have said that in Austin, ”added Shovlin.
“We should have been able to put together a decent setup and fight against Red Bull, but they had a bit of an advantage there. We are always careful before going to a race thinking that everything will be fine. in our sense.
“What we do know, however, are the things we need to do well on the setups, what we need to do well on the tires and how they work.
“That’s what we’re going to be busy doing over the next few days, just making sure we take every opportunity we can to get there in good shape.
“With a new track, getting in good shape is such an important thing, starting with the learning curve. If you have a good car to start with, you can just improve it from there.”