Lewis Hamilton believes now is the time for him to start putting the hammer down if he is to challenge Sebastian Vettel for this year’s World title…
Lewis Hamilton believes now is the time for him to start putting the hammer down if he is to challenge Sebastian Vettel for this year’s World title.
Hamilton posed a threat to Vettel in China when a superb strategy from McLaren enabled him to claw his way past the reigning Champion with a few laps remaining and claim victory.
With the exception of that small blemish on Vettel’s part, the 23-year-old has so far been perfect in his Red Bull, winning the other three races and claiming all four poles so far this season.
It leaves Hamilton trailing Vettel by 34 points going into Saturday’s qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix, knowing he cannot afford such a gap to increase further.
“Definitely when you get to Barcelona, it’s a good place to start putting in some good results to build on for later,” said Hamilton.
“From here going into Monaco next week and then Montreal is where you build a foundation, and we’re in a good place this weekend, so let’s hope we can get some good results.”
That “good place” enabled Hamilton to split Mark Webber and Vettel in Friday’s practice, finishing 0.039s adrift of the Australian courtesy of a raft of updates on the car.
Hamilton claims that if in a Red Bull he “should hope” to be as dominant as the German, but insists such supremacy is not all about the all-conquering Red Bull.
“At the end of the day you have to do the job with the car, and also you’ve got to be ahead of your team-mate,” added Hamilton.
“At the moment Sebastian is not really being challenged very much by the car next to him with the same equipment (Webber).
“If you look down the paddock and the other teams to see how the team-mates are doing against one another, Michael (Schumacher) for example is not really able to compete against Nico (Rosberg).
“The same can be said for Felipe (Massa) alongside (Fernando) Alonso.
“That shows the strength of the driver, but the car needs to be awesome as well, and when one car is blitzing it, it is difficult.”
Like Hamilton, team-mate Jenson Button also feels the team “do need to get going,” but appreciates the reason why Red Bell are so far in front.
“The year has been okay so far, but Red Bull have had the advantage not just over us, but everyone,” said Button.
“It’s very difficult to close the gap because they started the year with such a good car and they also have the resources, as well as the technical expertise with Adrian Newey.
“But we are doing what we can to close that gap.”