F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?
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Lewis Hamilton’s spectacular performance at the opening round of the Bahrain Grand Prix will have silenced some critics, according to former world champion Damon Hill.
Mercedes have been the team to beat in Formula One for the past seven years, with six world titles won by Hamilton during that time.
Hamilton is now chasing down his eighth world title with the Silver Arrows, however his skill was put to the test during round one in Bahrain as the Red Bull of Max Verstappen set the fastest times in both practice and qualifying.
Fans were treated to an epic battle in the closing stages of the race, but it was advantage Hamilton in the title fight after Verstappen’s last-gasp attempts to beat the Brit were foiled by track limits, handing another win to the Mercedes team.
As Hamilton came across the line he declared “I still got it Bono” to his race engineer Pete Bonnington, suggesting at one point, maybe the ever-confident Hamilton didn’t feel he had it all under control.
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”Verstappen enjoyed this fight until the moment he got close and got DRS,” explained Hill in the F1 Nation Podcast.
“There he bungled his chance to overtake.
“Verstappen will come out of this with the feeling that Lewis will not make it easy for him. He will have to work very hard to knock Lewis off the throne.”
Hill also believes that this will have put to rest the car vs ability argument that has followed Hamilton around for much of his time driving the best car on the grid.
”Hamilton has always been exceptional and it’s great to see him when he needs to make the most of it. However, that hasn’t been necessary for years,” he added.
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“In recent years you were often told he won because he was in the best car. Lewis really needs this to show everyone that he has that extra gear.
“It will be interesting to see that’.”
It wasn’t an easy start to Hamilton’s 2021 campaign, with testing woes and a very fast Red Bull topping the time screens in every single session throughout the weekend.
Even Hamilton had to admit it felt uncomfortable at some points.
“Ah, it was horrifying! It wasn’t great. I was struggling obviously at the end with the rear end of my car, the rear tyres had gone off,” explained Hamilton.
“They were maybe eight laps older or something like that to Max’s tyres, so I knew that he was going to catch me with 10 laps to go and I knew that it was going to be pretty much impossible to hold him behind, which it was, up until the Turn 4 incident. Then after that I couldn’t believe that I was just keeping him behind.
“I managed to keep him in my wake, well, he was right behind me so then stuck in my wake and that meant it was difficult for him to get close and he ended up wide in some places which gave me a little bit of an edge. It’s a difficult track [on which] to follow.”
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