Hamilton needs pace, not ‘weird’ races


Having taken the lead in the championship through the misfortunes of his team-mate in Baku, Lewis Hamilton accepts he can’t rely on “weird” races to win a fifth title.

While the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was Valtteri Bottas’ to win, the Finn was robbed of Mercedes’ first win of the season when his tyre blew three laps from the chequered flag.

His misfortune elevated Hamilton into the lead with the Brit winning the race and jumping to the top of the Drivers’ standings.

It was the second race in a row in which Hamilton benefitted from other drivers’ drama having finished P4 in China when Max Verstappen spun Sebastian Vettel.

The Brit, though, acknowledges that “weird races” won’t carry him to a fifth championship title.

“There’s two weird races which have kept us within the mix but you can’t rely on those for the 17 or however many are left,” he said.

“We need ultimate performance and confidence in the car.

“I’ve got the pace within me, the car has got the pace within it but we’re not unlocking it… we’ve definitely got to improve in lots of areas.”

Vettel, meanwhile, reckons he need not worry about Hamilton having taken the lead in the standings as he believes that in his SF71H he has a car capable of winning races.

“I’m not worried at all,” he said.

“The most important thing is that we have a good car to work with in qualifying.

“If we’re in front, we can win because our race pace is good.”