Hamilton hopes Mercedes will have “a closer battle at least” with Red Bull

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Saturday – Sebastian Kawka

After struggling to keep up the pace with Red Bull in France and Austria, Lewis Hamilton believes that the battle in Silverstone will be tighter. 

Red Bull has dominated the last five races, while Mercedes struggled to match their rivals’ pace. Therefore, to close the gap with the Milton Keynes team, the Silver Arrows had already announced that they will bring new upgrades for Silverstone.

Lewis himself admitted that the team worked a lot in the last few weeks and he hopes that the battle will be closer at his home Grand Prix.

“A lot of work has gone on over the last couple of weeks, so I’m hoping that we come back to a circuit that suits us a little bit better and hopefully bodes well for a closer battle at least with the Red Bulls,” he said.

“There’s a lot of changes on the car but it’s not a massive update in terms of the big gap that we’ve seen in the races. But it helps us in terms of closing that gap.”

Hamilton also admitted that at the beginning of the season, Mercedes was as fast as Red Bull. Then, the Milton Keynes-based team improved the performance of its car and is now leading the constructors’ standings by 44 points.

“The first four races we had the car to fight and it was great,” he said. “They’ve taken a big step forwards so it’s not been too great the last few races, we’ve not been able to have that fight.

“I’m hopeful and working as hard as I can with the team to put us back in that similar position that we were in at the beginning of the year because I think that’s what sparked the season off as exciting as it was. Such small differences between our performance meant that we could play, as drivers, an even bigger role. So I’m hopeful that comes back.”

To conclude, Hamilton said that he hopes the new weekend format will help him to close the gap to Red Bull. Plus, being his home Grand Prix, he will also receive a further push from the home fans.

“Another element we have is this sprint race that we have, this new format. Of course, it’s easy for any of us to get it wrong but there are opportunities there that are exciting.

“I’d like to think that the fans – there’s always been talk of the energy and buzz the fans bring and without doubt when it’s your home Grand Prix and it’s the British crowd you come with more, you’ve got more heat behind you.

“So, I’m hoping that all those play together, close that nice gap that those guys have grown out in terms of performance, and that enables us to take it to them this weekend.”

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