Lewis Hamilton faces engine wait ahead of French Grand Prix

French Grand Prix 1976

While its rivals introduced their upgraded engines in Canada, the last minute discovery of quality control issues whilst on the dyno at Brixworth meant that Mercedes opted to stick with its old units. If not, Mercedes will still take a new engine but be left with its previous specification for the next cycle of races.

"I don't think there has been any point where we've felt invincible this season", Hamilton said ahead of this weekend's return to Le Castellet after 28 years away. Which is good enough. Have more power than the one I raced at the last race.

I know that we can do better and we have solutions of how to do that.

"We all hope we can get the new one", he admitted.

"We are very much wanting to run the new spec, but we need to confirm tomorrow if we can or not".

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Hamilton's delay in signing a new contract with Mercedes has triggered rumors of his departure from the sport at the end of the season, but the Brit insists his motivation to compete at the highest level of motorsport remains intact. 'I will find the time, I will find the performance, we'll make it, don't worry.' And so we all go about our jobs, which is why this is the best team. The others have caught up and it's taken them time to catch up - but there are still some who haven't caught up.

But the driver, bidding to beat the German to his fifth world championship, will have one eye on Gareth Southgate's team as they aim to secure their second victory in as many matches.

"We are continuing to push as hard as we can". There are a lot of real positive developments coming through for the future. "If we want to win the championship then we need to keep getting all the small things".

"It is all about tiny margins, let's just wait and see", he said.

"At the moment going into this weekend I've been on the phone to Andy [Cowell] this week, I have absolute full confidence in him and the guys. We've done the seven races with great power and great performance until now so if we are to take the old spec I'm not anxious about it".

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