Lewis Hamilton concerned about double Red Bull threat in Max Verstappen title fight
F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?
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After scoring no points last time out, Lewis Hamilton has raised concerns about a double threat at Red Bull in his quest to become an eight-time world champion this season.
Hamilton has suffered back-to-back setbacks over the past few races, with Red Bull going from strength to strength, excluding Max Verstappen’s tyre failure which was through no fault of his own.
Red Bull now lead the team standings by 26 points over Mercedes, with Hamilton still sitting four points behind Verstappen in the driver standings after making an uncharacteristic mistake in Baku, in a race won by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
“I mean their car is incredibly fast,” said Hamilton, after finishing 15th in Azerbaijan.
“So I think undoubtedly the two of them together will make it difficult.
“That’s what we expected at the beginning of the year. So we’re going to just keep our head down.
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“I think it’s been an incredibly difficult two weeks, or two races,” he said. “And I think it’s obviously a painful experience. I think [Sunday] was really a stroke of bad luck. But Max had bad luck too, and these sorts of things happen.
“So naturally, sorry to all the team and we’ll just regroup and try and come back stronger.
“But I think there are lots of positives to take from the weekend in terms of where we recovered to get back to, and we’ll come back stronger.
“I think naturally you can see clearly the Red Bull is the quickest at the moment. Very, very hard to keep up with them. And so to have been in the mix, and in that position, was really an amazing experience.
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“And it’s quite a humbling experience actually to come away with nothing after all the hard work. But these things happen.”
With just seven points over the past two races, Hamilton and Mercedes have vowed to bounce back in Paul Ricard in over a weeks’ time, with teammate Valtteri Bottas hoping to improve on his P12 finish.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said they have a lot to learn from Monaco and Baku.
“It just feels painful,” said Wolff. “You can say we had the hand almost close to the trophy because Max didn’t score.
“The emotion, the frustration is just so overwhelming at the moment, I don’t know if I would have taken third or this result. I can’t even tell you.
“What I take away is we must bring our A-game to fight for this championship, and our car was not there all weekend. Operationally we just need to perform faultlessly and all of us haven’t done that the last two weekends.”
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