Sports

Hamilton wants to win title with 'perfect' weekends

Hamilton wants to win title with 'perfect' weekends

So don't write off the rest of the season!

But Hamilton was back on the track at the Circuit de Catalunya in the first of a two-day in-season test yesterday.

"Why our auto doesn't like to be quick around the corners in Monaco, we haven't found out yet". Plus, if we don't have the occasional boring race, we won't appreciate the good ones! The more confident I am the better the pace is. One of the big challenges, of course, is that nowadays the circuit's bigger earner is the MotoGP weekend and, therefore, whatever is done to the layout has to work for the bikes as well. "I am happy to go back to "normal" tires in Monaco as we seemed to struggle a little bit more than the others". The British driver got a surprise call up to test the vehicle this week, making a change from his usual Aston Martin GT auto that he races in the Blancpain GT Series.

The Safety Car was deployed. I felt that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year.

"But when we saw the tyres were holding up better than expected, we changed our strategy". Let's wait and see!

"But Mercedes have looked strong".

"We have seen performance that swings from racetrack-to-racetrack, and even from day-to-day, and this is how we take it at the moment".

They rediscovered it around the long sweeps of the 4.6-kilometer long track and unleashed it to devastating effect.

The tyres created all sorts of headaches for the teams. "Both Valtteri and Lewis have been on top form and the vehicle has been reliable and very fast".

"As much as I am overwhelmed by the victory (in Spain), my mind is already in Monaco and I remember Sunday night wasn't as pleasant a year ago".

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"We were expecting a two stop race today and when Vettel stopped on lap 17 we hoped to be able to overcut taking advantage of poor warm-up on the medium". The only glitch for Mercedes was when Sebastian Vettel managed to slipstream past Bottas for second place into turn 1. But on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton was in devastating form.

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has called on the team to be calm in its analysis of the performance and Vettel agrees with that approach. However, Hamilton's pace in that opening stint was absolutely mighty.

Meanwhile, despite Hamilton being confirmed for the 2019 season, there remains a question mark on his teammate for next season.

Reigning world champion Hamilton has less than a year left on his Mercedes contract, but the 33-year-old says that a new deal will be signed soon. "Red Bull are going to be rapid and very hard to beat", he said.

"I'm looking forward to Monaco".

A first podium of the season is a welcome result for Max Verstappen, whose season is full of lowlights (the collision with his team-mate in Baku comes to mind).

Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel leading the way, enjoyed a one-two in Monaco past year and, while the Italians may not be feeling quite so confident after the last three races, should go well there again. "There is not a single person in the upper hierarchy of the team who has doubts, as far as I can tell". Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Torro Rosso's Pierre Gasly got collected in the wreck.

Ferrari and Red Bull are both hot on their heels and the battle between the 3 teams will be fierce. Lewis and Seb have been brilliant there in the past. His 1:18.441 was more than three seconds faster than the previous record - a 1:21.670 - set by Kimi Raikkonen in 2008. He finished seventh in 2017 after qualifying in a dismal 14th.

But despite his growing confidence and an increased "synergy" with the auto, Hamilton was careful not to overstate the significance of his second successive win.


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