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Tough weekend ahead of Lewis Hamilton

Apr 18, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Previews Getty Images

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.

  1. apexassassin - Apr 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Course asphalt means high degradation, sand/dirty track means a lot of graining. I can’t see how the tires would be the story again this weekend, even with the change from Softs to Mediums and Hards.

    I’m excited to see how it all plays out though!

  2. mcmillang2013 - Apr 18, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Just wish RedBull would stop crying about the tires.

  3. bikingscr016 - Apr 18, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Obviously the softs in China were pretty bad, but yes in general the teams still need to adapt. Cannot wait for Bahrain

  4. techmeister1 - Apr 19, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    The tires are always going to be the subject of debate no matter what tires are used. They are in most pro racing series. It’s the nature of the beast. Get on with the job of getting optimum performance from the four gumballs that you have. Racing is about driving smart not just hard.

    • apexassassin - Apr 20, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      True, but in Shanghai no driver used the softs for more than 7 laps. Bahrain is much more abrasive and prone to being “dirty” which as you probably know causes graining. So what good would it be to have race tires that are in effect only good for 5-7 laps?

      This isn’t Le Mans or Nascar or some Oval race… it’s a 2 hour sprint race. So while I totally agree with your post, I obviously would prefer if the teams could get more out of the tyres, like we have here at Bahrain. Though this circuit isn’t known for great racing, I’m hoping we’ll see some harder pushing than we have so far this season.

      Schumi in his glory days only ever went fast enough to win and his mechancial sympathy for the car is as legendary as his achievements.

      Great post!

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