Hamilton says he must improve “whole weekend” to beat Bottas

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he needs to find improvements in his approach to the entire race weekend after being beaten to pole position by team mate Valtteri Bottas for the third race in a row.

The pair were separated by over six-tenths of a second at the end of qualifying. They had been closer prior to then, but Hamilton said Q3 is not the key to his deficit.

“I don’t think it’s about Q3,” he said. “I think it’s about the whole weekend and it’s the feel that I have in the car.

“I just need to work on it so I don’t think it’s really about my approach in qualifying particularly. But of course I’m looking at all solutions and I’ll get there eventually.”

Hamilton’s first run in Q3 was compromised because he started without a full charge in his battery because he aborted his last run in Q2 at the end of the lap.

“I just didn’t put the laps together,” said Hamilton. “The last couple of laps in Q3 particularly just weren’t strong.

“I had to go out early, because I had come in too early and I had a low battery pack and so I had to go out first, ahead of everyone and ultimately it just wasn’t a good enough job.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Hamilton says he must improve “whole weekend” to beat Bottas”

  1. Unexpectedly, he has a real challenge on his hands now. With Mercedes’ continued dominance, it looks like at least we’ll have an exciting inter-teambatlle to look forward to for the rest of the season.

    Can Bottas beat Hamilton on merit during a complete season?

    1. I don’t think so but who knows? Lewis knows how to win championships. Bottas hasn’t been in a title fight before. That and Lewis’ superior speed and consistency will probably tell out soon. Let’s have some perspective here. Valterri is having the best start to a season ever. Lewis hasn’t hit full stride and yet there is currently 1 point in it. Will be interesting to see but I can’t see BOT sustaining a challenge beyond Singapore or Suzuka.

      1. Bottas’ start was equally good last season; it was just due to rotten luck that he wasn’t leading the WDC then.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          12th May 2019, 10:40

          Can’t say it was equally good.

          He’s had 3 poles and 2 wins so far this year and if Leclerc didn’t have problems in Bahrain, Bottas would be yet another point ahead of Hamilton.

          If you look at last year, Bottas crashed in Australia in qualifying and finished 8th. He could possibly have been a bit more aggressive and maybe won in Bahrain. He was certainly unlucky not to win in China. But Azerbaijan, he would have come 2nd if not for good fortune. He may have led the championship if not for his puncture in that race, but I think the start to this season is looking significantly better.

  2. And by going out early he mean just ahead of Bottas? Didnt seem that early to me.

  3. Bottas has found something with his engineers on how to get the best out of 2019 Pirellis as he is more often in the sweet spot of tyre range than Lewis so far this season.
    And he is not sharing that with Lewis which may well be frustrating him. Lewis said earlier that over the years he developed some advantages with the engine settings, techniques, fuel saving techniques…etc which gave him little advantages and then suddenly those are shared with his team mate. So he expects the same that advantages learned by his team mate to be shared with him too. Surely Lewis will figure out the tyres as it still early in the season. The sooner the better or else i see growing frustration which will effect their relationship.
    I dont blame Lewis or Bottas but these Pirelli tyres which are very difficult to understand. Star drivers like Lewis, Vettel, Max are struggling with these tyres to get the best out of them as their sweet spot is so delicate and narrow operating window. After Qualy Max said Mercedes is the only team who understands these 2019 car and tyres. Haas are struggling massively in the race due to these tyres.
    Tyres shouldn’t be playing such a huge role. Especially when there is only one supplier and there are no tyre wars in F1 anymore.

    1. You are talking utter nonsense in order to justify why 2019 Hamilton is being at the very least kept up with by 2019 Bottas.

      Bottas has clearly been working on the mental side of his skillset, and he’s clearly got the measure of Hamilton in regards to pace, at least up until this part of the season.

      Hamilton has had flawed seasons on more than one occasion during his career, and they often coincide with off track distractions. His head is too busy with his fashion designer friends, and he might enjoy it, but surely he prefers winning races and championships?

      1. Hahaha care to ‘re think that now? This is what Bottas has to deal with. Lewis is relentless! One day Bottas thinks “I’ve got this” then Lewis will smash it and slowly wear him down. Every Team mate Lewis has had knows that you never really get on top of Lewis and that really wears them down. Bottas looked deflated after the race today and he has another 16 races to go through. Ultimately Bottas is just not on Lewis level and that realisation will be probably be the deciding factor.

  4. its in context of his batteries…

  5. Lewis just need a better start to win. Or if he want us having great season, he can took his teammate out like 2016.

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