Hamilton looking to ‘apply pressure’ on Verstappen

Mark Scott
Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen Mercedes Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen Mercedes Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton is not downhearted over losing pole position to Max Verstappen at the French Grand Prix and instead will look to “apply pressure” from P2.

The seven-time World Champion finds himself four points behind Verstappen, who currently occupies top spot in the World Championship standings.

And after clinching pole position in such a convincing manner, plus racing at a track which isn’t the easiest to overtake on, there is an expectation that Verstappen will be able to extend his lead come Sunday afternoon.

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But Hamilton is far from nervous about that prospect and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I’m not nervous for the race, just because it wasn’t great [on Friday], wasn’t great this [Saturday] morning and then in quali it was much, much better. I think it will be good [on Sunday],” Hamilton said in the FIA post-qualifying press conference.

“Generally they were quicker than us on the long runs so it’s going to be a challenge to follow but you know, there’s lots of opportunities hopefully.

“I didn’t really know what to expect this weekend. Definitely was hopeful of…I was looking stronger and naturally we have.

“We’ve been up in the top five, top four all weekend – but it hasn’t felt great – but it obviously must feel worse further back.

“We knew that the Red Bulls, of course it seems they’re just strong everywhere. Street circuits, doesn’t seem to matter where they go, they’re very strong and we’ve got some areas we just need to improve.

“Obviously today [Saturday] I heard that we’re losing out mostly on the straights, so we’ll try to figure out what that is but yeah, as I said, it’s great that we are second and third.

“It puts us in the middle of the Red Bulls, it gives us a chance to really apply pressure – but it’s just as close as ever before.

“Maybe they seem to have eked a little bit further forwards than we were perhaps in Barcelona.”

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