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Mercedes have experienced peaks and troughs in performance this year, but Lewis Hamilton's feedback has remained relatively neutral throughout.

Today in Free Practice, however, the 7-time Champion is confident Mercedes have taken their most significant step forwards this season:

"Positive, super happy with the progress... We're not the quickest, but I think we're on our way.

This is the first time I've driven down a straight without bouncing. We still have some bouncing, but it's way better". 

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The Silver Arrows have struggled to develop any form of consistency in 2022, finding themselves further behind Red Bull and Ferrari (in terms of race pace) at Miami than they did to start the season in Bahrain. 

No team has a divine right to success in F1, but some teams find a way of making it habitual. Mercedes have become synonymous with excellence in F1, so it was difficult for most to write them off at the start of the year, even with their glaring weaknesses. 

The mistakes of major rivals, most notably Red Bull's reliability slip-ups, kept Mercedes in a higher championship position than their pace warranted. However, a frustrating weekend in Miami saw whispers of a Mercedes resurgence become less common among fans. 

Toto Wolff has stressed the importance of the Spanish GP for the team to better understand their correlation, and it looks as though (so far) Mercedes have found something they can pursue.

Aiming for a championship fight would be Mercedes leaping before they can run. If they can create some distance between themselves and the midfield, in addition to finding some much-needed consistency, they give themselves a critical foundation to build on.