Last year in Sochi, Lewis Hamilton benefited from a team order in Sochi. This year in Singapore as well, even though he isn’t a friend of it at all.
It’s Lewis Hamilton’s (34) Achilles heel: the damned team order in his favor. The dedicated vegan hates this even more than a juicy steak.
Last year, it happened here in Sochi when teammate Valtteri Bottas had to give him the victory. It happened in the last race in Singapore when Bottas had to drive slowly so that Hamilton wouldn’t fall behind after his pit stop.
In Sochi Hamilton spoke openly:
“I do not think Valtteri has to drive for me. I’m finally fighting with him for the World Cup. Singapore was a bit different. I just don’t want help for a job that I can and do myself. Last year I felt really bad when it happened – really bad!”
Bottas explained the situation in Singapore himself:
“There are rules we follow, one of which is: whoever is ahead of the pits, always has priority. And that was just Lewis, of course. It didn’t look good on the outside, not even for me. But the reverse would have been the same with Lewis, I’m sure. “
The lack of speed compared to Ferrari on the straights worried Hamilton, but the fact is: In the championship fight with six races Hamilton is 65 points ahead of his team-mate, 96 points ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc and Red Bull -Pilot Max Verstappen and 102 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari).
But surely Hamilton, who wants to become world champion for the sixth time this season, doesn’t want to be complacent.
“Sochi has a two-kilometer straight, and we know how fast they are on the straights. We are aware of that and we are working on it, but it can not happen that fast.”
For Hamilton it’s clear – Mercedes had to improve and he knows exactly where in particular:
“Qualifying is the area where we’ve fallen the most in the last two races, so we need to improve that the most.”
Only on two of the last six tracks does Hamilton see a chance to win on his own.
“Austin could be good for us, and Brazil – when it gets hotter, it’s usually good for us, and Brazil has a long straight, but it’s not quite a killer such as Sochi. All the other tracks have long straights. Basically, we are no longer a favorite in any race.”
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.