HAMILTON LOVES VETTEL RIVALRY
Briton admires German’s consistency
LONDON winning the 2016 title has changed that.
He is now up against a quadruple champion, once dominant with Red Bull, who has a machine to match the Mercedes.
Racing against a teammate — with the constructors’ championship always a consideration and the same strategist calling the shots for both — can never be as no-holds barred.
Last year in Spain, the Mercedes drivers collided at the start — leaving Hamilton 43 points adrift of Rosberg.
“Having a battle and a fight with another team, it’s so much more enjoyable,” said Hamilton, whose new teammate Valtteri Bottas won in Russia last month but retired in Barcelona with an engine failure.
Bottas still played a major part in Hamilton’s win, helping to delay Vettel long enough to enable the Briton to recoup vital seconds.
The top two lapped everyone, with the exception of Red Bull’s thirdplaced Australian Daniel Ricciardo, and their mutual respect shone through afterwards with some light banter.
“We just had a very close battle today and if it had gone a different direction, it would have and Ed Jones, who was third quickest with a time of 336.46kmph.
Alonso’s session was interrupted by a suspension glitch which denied him the opportunity to practice driving in traffic.
“Everything went very smooth. The last half an hour maybe we had some issues with the rear suspension, and we could not complete the program that we had planned to run a little bit in traffic at the end of the day, so we missed that part,” Alonso said. “But over all, it was an amazing day.
“I’m happier than the first day with the car because I was able to been different between us,” said Hamilton, who went wheel-towheel with the German after Vettel’s final pitstop and sounded breathless at times.
Hamilton was forced aside, and protested angrily over the radio about the move being ‘dangerous’, but there was no contact made and he was able to take the lead later.
“You know how racing goes. If he had hit me in Turn One and I didn’t finish and he won the race, it would not have been ‘great job, Sebastian’,” said Hamilton. Reuters
Having a battle and a fight with another team, it’s so much more enjoyable.
feel some of the setup changes that we were planning in the morning.
“But we did not do much running in traffic, so that’s still the thing that I need to go through in the next couple of days. But I did two or three laps behind some cars that were going out of pit lane, and it was good fun.”
Alonso, who is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to race in the Indy 500, is due to practice all week before entering qualifying at the weekend, hoping to reach Sunday’s Pole Day. The Indy 500 takes place the following week on May 28. AFP
Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.