“I’m not sure that would be the smartest thing to do”– Lewis Hamilton on Mercedes’ engine change that has relegated Valtteri Bottas to grid end.
Lewis Hamilton is in an intense battle against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and one slip-up may cost him the world title, and reflecting on that, Hamilton claims Mercedes’ recent engine change, if done with him around this time, will not be the smartest thing.
After seeing his teammate Valtteri Bottas going at the back of the grid, the Briton is saying that despite him winning Saturday’s sprint race, after the engine change penalty.
Asked if he would be happy to take the same hit, Hamilton replied: “I don’t think that is on the cards and I’m not sure that would be the smartest thing to do at this point.”
“At the moment, I have still got two engines and there is currently no plan for me to take an extra engine, hopefully, but we shall see,” Hamilton added.
After finishing three places behind Verstappen in the sprint race, Hamilton has to deal with the McLaren duo- Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo before challenging the Dutchman. Hence, Hamilton has conceded that it’s an easy win for Verstappen.
“It generally should be a relatively easy race for Max unless I can get past the two McLarens early on and then challenge.”
The McLaren roadblock an advantage to Max Verstappen
Adding to Verstappen’s easy win comment, Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin tried to explain that his team found it difficult to overtake Norris’ McLaren in the sprint race, which would be similar during the main race.
“We’ll have a look at strategic options for Lewis. But the reality is that if we struggled to overtake the McLarens [in the sprint], we’d face the same situation [in the race], and that’s going to hand Max a straightforward win.”
“We need to look at every possible opportunity as it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen. It can often be an eventful race here, but we can’t afford to drop back in the first stint at the rate we did [in the sprint].”