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Mercedes enjoyed great success at the Spanish GP, with George Russell taking his second podium of 2022 and spending several laps defending the race lead.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, climbed from P19 at the end of lap 1 to recover into P4 before reliability concerns relegated the 7-time champion into 5th place. 

However, the Silver Arrows will be more encouraged by their race pace than their finishing positions at the Catalunya circuit.

Hamilton's comeback demonstrated the W13's improved speed in race trim, in addition to great levels of consistency and tyre conservation.

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What made this performance so impressive is that Hamilton spent the early part of the race stuck behind Zhou Guanyu, only unleashing his true pace in clean air later on.

Mercedes have now taken their most definitive step forward in 2022. While they don't have the pace to challenge for victory on pure speed, they can become a legitimate headache for Red Bull and Ferrari by continuing this momentum.

Mattia Binotto has identified the threat Mercedes now pose, as quoted by it.motorsport.com:

"In the Principality, I imagine that Mercedes can be part of the fight because it's a car that has load and traction.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if George and Hamilton can have a good race in a track like Monte Carlo."

Mercedes would be hesitant to create such high expectations for themselves at Monaco, but it would be unwise for rival teams to write off the Silver Arrows.