‘F1 se­cu­rity not a worry’

Cyprus Today - - SPORT -

LEWIS Hamil­ton says he is “con­fi­dent” se­cu­rity has im­proved around the Brazil­ian Grand Prix track for to­mor­row’s race at In­ter­la­gos.

Last year, mem­bers of Hamil­ton’s Mercedes team were robbed at gun point leav­ing the track, one of a num­ber of in­ci­dents over the race week­end.

Hamil­ton said: “I have al­ways been safe here in Brazil so I have not ap­proached any races here with safety on my mind.

“But I am con­fi­dent F1 and the teams have taken ac­tion af­ter last year.”

Gov­ern­ing body the FIA says a se­ries of mea­sures have been taken to en­sure F1 per­son­nel are at re­duced risk leav­ing the cir­cuit, a time at which in­ci­dents have be­come in­creas­ingly com­mon in re­cent years.

In one of those in­ci­dents, for­mer world cham­pion Jen­son But­ton es­caped from men with ma­chine guns in 2010.

The FIA mea­sures in­clude in­creased po­lice num­bers and bet­ter tar­get­ing of the times when the po­lice pres­ence is de­ployed.

“They took ac­tion to try and put things in place to im­prove it and I am as­sured,” Hamil­ton said. “I do feel con­fi­dent it is im­proved. We don’t know what’s around the cor­ner but I am hope­ful of a pos­i­tive week­end for ev­ery­one.”

Hamil­ton sealed his fifth driv­ers’ ti­tle at the last race in Mex­ico. In pre­vi­ous years when he has clinched a cham­pi­onship be­fore the end of the sea­son he has failed to win an­other race, and he says he is de­ter­mined to break that pat­tern.

Mercedes are hop­ing to tie up the con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship this week­end, and will do so as long as Fer­rari do not outscore them by more than 12 points.

But Hamil­ton pointed out that Mercedes had lacked com­pet­i­tive­ness in the last two races in the US and Mex­ico.

“If you look at the last two races, we’ve strug­gled,” he said. “I don’t know how it’s go­ing to be at the next two races and I can’t re­ally ex­plain to you why it’s been so dif­fi­cult for us the last two races, par­tic­u­larly the last one.

“But I am re­ally hope­ful we get in the car this week­end and it feels more nor­mal and we are more com­pet­i­tive,” Hamil­ton added. “We still have a job to do this week­end, which is to win the con­struc­tors’ ti­tle so the fo­cus re­mains ex­actly the same as it has done the pre­vi­ous races in my mind.”

He said he and the team did not yet fully un­der­stand why they had strug­gled so much in Mex­ico, where he fin­ished fourth.

“It is not al­ways the case you find all the so­lu­tions,” he said. “So I am con­fi­dent ev­ery­one has worked as hard as they can to rec­tify it and push for­ward but it might take this race and even the next race be­fore we fully un­der­stand it.

“But I think it just points to the fact that there is still even at this time of the year things you can learn from and im­prove. Or meth­ods you can ap­ply to next year which will be im­por­tant, so even though they have not been great races they have been steep learn­ing curves for us.”

Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel said: “We try ev­ery­thing we can. We go flat out and try and score more points. We saw in the last race how quickly things can change when you strug­gle with tyres. We keep our head down and try our best.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.