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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Mercedes can shut hole to Pink Bull after Melbourne F1 podium

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The seven-time world champion climbed from third on the grid to steer within the early levels of the race, having robustly passed a slow-starting Verstappen on the within into Flip 3.

That transfer handed him second on the time to main team-mate George Russell, who then dropped to seventh because of pitting beneath a security automobile that morphed into the primary of three pink flag stoppages.

Hamilton and Verstappen might change tyres with no time handicap, and the Mercedes racer managed the second standing begin earlier than Verstappen powered previous with DRS into Flip 9.

Whereas Russell retired with an influence unit fireplace, second place for Hamilton marked Mercedes’ best result of the season because the workforce endures with the restricted W14 automobile.

However that rating was sufficient for Hamilton to consider that whereas it will likely be “robust”, it’s “not not possible” for the Three-Pointed Star to reel in 2023 dominant power Pink Bull.

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Hamilton, who has complained that the cockpit of the W14 is too far forward relative to the front wheels, stated: “I nonetheless really feel uncomfortable within the automobile. I nonetheless don’t really feel related to it.

“I’m driving as greatest I can with that disconnect and I’m working as exhausting as I can to attempt to create that connection. However I believe it’s an extended undertaking.

“However nonetheless, contemplating we’ve been down on efficiency, we’re clearly down on straight [line] tempo in comparison with the Pink Bulls, for us to be up right here combating with Aston [Martin, third in Melbourne] is simply wonderful at this level within the season.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 2nd place, waves from the rostrum

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

“We simply need to carry on combating.

“A giant, massive thanks to all of the individuals again on the manufacturing unit. Let’s preserve pushing.

“We are able to shut that hole. It’s going to be robust however not not possible.”

Hamilton did be aware that Mercedes should assess its reliability report following the early elimination for Russell, with the Excessive Efficiency Powertrains additionally breaking down for engine buyer workforce McLaren within the Bahrain season opener.

Hamilton continued: “It’s actually unfortunate for George right this moment. On our aspect, we’ve acquired to look into our reliability – it’s usually been actually good.

“So, that’s actually unlucky. In any other case, to get these factors is actually wonderful.

“I undoubtedly didn’t count on to be second, so I’m tremendous grateful for it.”

The Briton additionally clarified that he “undoubtedly wasn’t bluffing” with fears over workforce radio that his hard-compound Pirellis wouldn’t final to the tip of the race.

Nonetheless, the FIA governing physique controversially deployed an additional two pink flag restarts that did assist his tyre-saving trigger.



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