Apr 18, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT
Lewis Hamilton believes that he is in store for a difficult weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, despite finishing 3rd in China last time out for Mercedes.
“I anticipate it’s going to be a very tough weekend for us,” the 2008 world champion told Sky Sports.
“The team struggled a lot last year but we’ve made a huge step forward in how we look after our tires, so hopefully we’ll be a lot better this weekend.”
Hamilton has made a good start to the season despite the team claiming that they were not expecting to be competitive in 2013. With three strong scores to his name, the British driver is currently 4th in the drivers’ championship with 40 points, although many had expected better following his pole position in China.
Mercedes appears to be struggling with its tires, but Hamilton is slowly getting used to the more aggressive Pirelli compounds.
“There are a lot of different techniques you can have. There’s so much to learn, I’m always learning. Just in the last couple of months I’ve learnt a couple of new techniques which happen to help quite a lot.”
Hamilton also refused to back the complaints of Red Bull, who believe that the tires have hindered some of the racing this season.
“It’s a good challenge, even if people perhaps aren’t enjoying it.
“I don’t find it really difficult. I mean, I do come out of a pit stop and I want to push and go hard to try and gain. But in actual fact, it’s better to go a bit slower in those first few laps – which people are starting to notice.
“That’s what Kimi and Fernando and Sebastian have been doing, which has meant that their long race pace has been really good. It’s still great racing, it’s just different.”
Hamilton will be chasing his first win in Bahrain, although he has finished on the podium twice before in Sakhir. If the Mercedes W04 can manage its tires better this weekend, both Hamilton and Rosberg may be in a position to fight for the win.
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