Hamil­ton and Mercedes set their sights on seven

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - SPORTS -

The sevens are align­ing for Lewis Hamil­ton in Canada with an­other of Michael Schu­macher’s For­mula One records in his sights as Mercedes aim for a sev­enth win in seven races this sea­son.

Mon­treal has been a happy hunt­ing ground for the five times world cham­pion and Sun­day could see the Bri­ton equal Schu­macher’s seven Cana­dian Grand Prix vic­to­ries between 1994 and 2004.

Yet Hamil­ton, who leads Fin­nish team mate Valt­teri Bot­tas by 17 points in the stand­ings af­ter four wins out of six, can take noth­ing for granted at a power-sen­si­tive track named af­ter Fer­rari great Gilles Vil­leneuve.

Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel won from pole po­si­tion in Canada last year and Mercedes have sug­gested the high­speed cir­cuit could again favour Ital­ian ri­vals whose sea­son has yet to get into gear.

“We are begin­ning to see more clearly the strengths and weak­nesses of our car. In the past six races, we were very strong in the cor­ners but lost time on the straights,” said prin­ci­pal Toto Wolff.

“This will make Canada a huge chal­lenge for us as the track char­ac­ter­is­tics could favour our op­po­nents - there are many long straights, and fewer cor­ners in which to make up lap time.”

Hamil­ton, who took the first For­mula One win of his ca­reer at the cir­cuit with Mclaren in 2007, in­di­cated af­ter win­ning the pre­vi­ous race in Monaco that a Mercedes en­gine up­grade was ex­pected.

While Mercedes have kept a lid on their plans, the tim­ing would be right since the rules al­low each driver three engines per sea­son and Canada comes a third of the way through the 21-race cham­pi­onship.

Fer­rari, Re­nault and Honda have al­ready in­tro­duced their up­graded engines.

A main con­cern for the cham­pi­ons will be tyre man­age­ment, with Hamil­ton strug­gling on the wrong choice in Monaco.

“We need to learn from Monaco... be­cause this si­t­u­a­tion in Mon­treal, you lose the race,” Wolff told re­porters at the time, cau­tion­ing also against too much con­fi­dence af­ter such an un­prece­dented start to the cam­paign.

“We must never be car­ried away by say­ing we are just fly­ing at the mo­ment and it’s go­ing to con­tinue like this,” said the Aus­trian.

Fer­rari were out of sorts in Monaco, de­spite Vet­tel fin­ish­ing sec­ond for the team’s best re­sult so far this sea­son, with Red Bull’s Max Ver­stap­pen pos­ing the big­gest threat to Hamil­ton but hit with a time penalty. “It’s a fun track, at least you can over­take if needed and I al­ways en­joy go­ing there,” said Ver­stap­pen, who was third in Canada last year be­hind sec­ond-placed Bot­tas. “I ex­pect Fer­rari to be more com­pet­i­tive in Canada, so for us it may be a bit more dif­fi­cult, but as al­ways we will try and max­imise the re­sult.” (Reuters)

Lewis Hamil­ton

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