Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes will only be stronger for James Allison returning as Technical Director. Allison has returned to the role he left 20 months ago as part of a major technical team shake-up at the Brackley-based outfit which saw him switch roles with Mike Elliott, who he had handed the reins over to in 2021 when moving into the Chief Technical Officer role. Mercedes has struggled to find a competitive edge within the new regulatory era of F1, finishing third in last season’s Constructors’ Championship with only one victory to show for its efforts whilst Hamilton clinched a first podium of the current campaign in Australia last time out. Addressing the changes, Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com : “James has always been a part of the team, was obviously focused on another area before. “I think having him step back in a little bit is only going to strengthen the team moving forwards. He has got an amazing amount of experience. “So moving forwards it will be great for the team, particularly for all the things we want to achieve – not only on-track but off-track, it will be good.” ‘In the mix’ Having been the fourth-fastest car at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes moved past Ferrari in Saudi Arabia and Aston Martin in Australia as Hamilton finished second. Asked if he was confident of a repeat showing in Azerbaijan this weekend, the seven-time champion replied: “I am as confident as I can be. “A lot of work has been done in the background. I think the last race was really great for us, we worked really hard to get that sort of result. “It won’t be easy to do again, the Ferraris will be quick, the Red Bulls will be quick, the Astons as well. I hope we are in the mix, I hope we can battle with them. “Particularly with the shake-up of the weekend, this is probably the most exciting weekend this year, looking forward to seeing how it turns out.”

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