Bri­ton ad­mires Ger­man’s con­sis­tency

New Straits Times - - Sport - LEWIS HAMIL­TON

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.