Hamilton turns up the heat on team- mate
Lewis Hamilton has ramped up the pressure on Valtteri Bottas by challenging him to prove his championship credentials, writes Philip Duncan.
Hamilton goes into tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix trailing his team- mate by a single point. The Mercedes pair have two victories apiece but Bottas heads the standings by virtue of his fastest lap at the opening round in Australia.
Bottas, a winner last time out in Azerbaijan, continued his strong start to the campaign by completing a practice double at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya yesterday.
Hamilton was just five- hundredths of a second slower, with the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel a third of a second further back, third and fourth respectively.
Although Bottas has been quick out of the blocks in 2019, Hamilton does not traditionally come alive until the second half of the season.
Naturally, there are doubts as to whether the Finn will be able to last the course of a 21- round campaign.
“Winning t he championship is not just about winning a couple of races,” said Hamilton, pictured.
“It is about the whole season. It will be interesting to see how he goes in the harder conditions. We’ve only had four races so watch this space.”
Vettel will be desperate to ensure it does not become a oneteam fight for the title. But the Ferrari driver has already been cast 35 points adrift, and despite boasting an engine upgrade for the first round of the European season here, he finished practice a third of a second off the pace.