Hamilton embracing Mercedes challenge in bid to compete in F1

By Sports Desk April 05, 2023

Lewis Hamilton is embracing the challenge facing Mercedes this season despite their struggles to compete for race wins in Formula One.

A second-place finish in Australia for Hamilton marked his best performance of the season, in a campaign that looks to be another difficult one for the team.

Mercedes ceded their Constructors' Championship title to rivals Red Bull last year, while Hamilton finished the year without a race win for the first time in his career, and remains significantly off the pace again in 2023.

Those struggles have reignited questions about Hamilton's future, with his deal set to expire at the end of the year, though he has affirmed his commitment to the team.

Tied with Michael Schumacher for the most F1 title wins of all time, an eighth crown would hand Hamilton the record outright, and he is ready to clinch that honour.

However, for the time being, he is focused on pushing himself to achieve the best possible result despite Mercedes' issues.

"I don't like driving not great cars. I don't like driving a car that's not the car that we weren't meant to have, but I love that challenge of 'OK, what can I do with it?'," he told Fox Sports.

"Wins are not possible right, so what is the maximum we can get? Can we be a little cheeky and if fifth is the best we can get, can we get a fourth or a third?

"Just make sure we are consistent and fit and ready so when the car does all of a sudden switch on, and it is the car you dreamed of having, you're ready.

"I am ready to win a world championship. I have prepared the best way I can this year – the best I have ever prepared – and if the car comes correct tomorrow I will be ready to fight for the world championship, but unfortunately that's not the case.

"I am working with everyone here and back at the factory to get there."

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    Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen both blame each other for the huge crash that forced a restart in the Monaco Grand Prix.

    The pair came together during the opening lap of the race as Magnussen attempted to squeeze through a tight gap on the inside of Perez on the exit of Turn One.

    The Red Bull was destroyed during the incident, while the Dane’s Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg also got caught in the chaos.

    All three drivers were unharmed, though were ultimately forced out of the race when it restarted.

    Perez was adamant following the race that the blame should be placed firmly on Magnussen’s shoulders.

    He said: "It was an immense crash, one I'm disappointed about. I think it was totally unnecessary at that point of the race and there was no need for that.

    "At some point, you have two options: Lift or have a contact, and I think it was too unnecessary with the speeds we were doing, and it was a massive contact.

    "It was important to take things a little bit calmer."

    The incident compounded a disappointing weekend for both teams, in particularly Haas after both drivers were disqualified from qualifying and sent to the back of the grid due to a technical infringement.

    However, Magnussen stood by his belief he had every right to go for the gap and was forced into the barrier by the Mexican.

    "From my point of view, I had a good part of my front on Perez's rear and when he went to the wall I got pushed to the wall and made contact with him," Magnussen said.

    "I trusted he was going to leave space for me since I was there. It's not a corner where you're braking into it, it's a bend on the straight, so you have to have a car otherwise you leave the other guy no option.

    "From my point of view, I was there, and I got squeezed to the wall."

    Ultimately, neither driver was punished for the incident as the stewards deemed it a racing incident which needed no further investigation. 
  • Verstappen underwhelmed by 'boring' Monaco Grand Prix Verstappen underwhelmed by 'boring' Monaco Grand Prix

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    The world number one failed to improve on his sixth-place start, after struggling to catch George Russell as he failed to finish on the podium for just the second time this season.

    Verstappen fared better than team-mate Sergio Perez though, as the Mexican was involved in a huge crash just seconds into the race, forcing him out of it after an already poor qualifying.

    Despite being underwhelmed by their performance in Monaco, Verstappen said there were still positives to take from it.

    After the race, he said: "This has been a really tricky challenging weekend with a lot of damage [to Perez's car]. Probably a weekend to forget, but also one to learn a lot from.

    "The only positive to come out of this weekend is that we understand what our big weakness is and that's what we really have to work on. I think if we can solve that and make it decent, we can gain a lot of lap time and we need to do that.

    "We finished where we started. The strategy got ruined with the red flag, so we had to back it up on the medium [tyre]. From lap one on the restart, it was driving four seconds off the pace. Just really, really boring.

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  • Monaco Grand Prix win a 'dream', says Leclerc Monaco Grand Prix win a 'dream', says Leclerc

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    After claiming pole for the third time on home soil, Leclerc was able to hold onto first and finish on the Monaco podium for the first time.

    Despite an early red flag forcing a restart, the Monegasque was in control throughout, finishing seven seconds ahead of second-place Oscar Piastri.

    It is Leclerc's first win of 2024, and Ferrari's second of the season after Carlos Sainz’s victory at the Australian Grand Prix in March.

    Speaking after Sunday's victory, he said: "No words can explain that. It's such a difficult race. I think the fact twice I've been starting on pole position, and we couldn't quite make it makes it even better in a way.

    "It means a lot, obviously. It's the race which made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day.

    "Fifteen laps to the end you're hoping nothing happens, and the emotions are coming.

    "My dad has given everything for me to be here, and it was a dream of ours for me to race here and win here, so it's unbelievable.

    "A huge thank you, the parade laps were special and seeing so many of my friends and people I know in the balcony, it was just very special. This one means a lot."

    Piastri put in an assured drive to finish second, holding off Sainz to prevent a Ferrari one-two and was pleased with the way the race turned out.

    "Thanks to the team. It's been a great weekend all-round. Nice to put a result on the board. I've been strong the last few weekends but didn't have the result to show for it. Nice to have a podium," he said.

    "Charles has been mega all weekend. They have been quick from the very first lap.

    "I'm happy with P2. A good result for the team. Very, very happy."

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