‘Red Bull, Ferrari may make a play for Hamilton’

Date published: February 22 2018

Nigel Mansell says Red Bull or Ferrari may do “something special” to sign Lewis Hamilton, however, at the end of it all he expects the Brit will remain with Mercedes.

Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 and has won three Drivers’ Championships with the Brackley squad.

But with just 12 months left to run on his current contract, his future has yet to be decided.

Hamilton is in talks with Mercedes about an extension but Mansell reckons if they don’t wrap that up soon, Red Bull or Ferrari may make a play for the driver.

He told Press Association: “I would be very surprised if Lewis did not sign a new deal with Mercedes but if Red Bull or Ferrari were to do something special over the winter by making the jump over Mercedes, and then offer Lewis Hamilton an incredible deal, who knows?.

“At the moment however, Lewis has the world at his feet, he is in the best car and at the best team, so why would you want to change it?

“Some people in their careers are very privileged to be in a strong position and Lewis is one of those because he can afford to be patient.

“When the time is right for him, he will sign on the dotted line.”

Verstappen talks title and Hamilton

Date published: February 21 2018

Max Verstappen has heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton, but said he would prefer to have a “real challenge” for the World Championship rather than “win it easy” like Mercedes do.

The Dutchman has been speaking to Mobil 1 The Grid as he reflected on another race-winning campaign in 2017 before turning his attention toward the new season.

Verstappen was very complimentary of Hamilton, who he hopes to rival for the title in 2018, but revealed he would get “more satisfaction” from winning the trophy after a season-long battle.

“Lewis is very talented,” said Verstappen.

“Some people need to work up to their team-mates but he doesn’t really need that. He has been one of the most consistent front-runners.

“To have a real challenge [for the title], instead of winning easy like Mercedes have been doing for a few years, that would give me more satisfaction.

“But still, like in Mexico, I also really like to dominate races.”

Catch the full interview here:

Bottas: I have what it takes to beat Hamilton

Date published: February 18 2018

Valtteri Bottas has said he will do “anything it takes” to beat Lewis Hamilton and become World Champion in 2018.

The Finn finished third in his first season with the Silver Arrows and picked up his first three victories of his career during the 2017 campaign.

But Bottas also struggled for form as well, and believes that more consistency will allow him to be a major title threat.

“For sure he is one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1, a four-time world champion who’s always on it, but I proved to myself a few times last year that I can do it and I can beat him,” Bottas told ESPN.

“It’s up to me to be performing well consistently all through the year, not having those kinds of race weekends when I’m a couple of tenths off or something.

“I need to be in all conditions – no matter what track, which temperature and which tarmac – I need to be there.”

Bottas is willing to do anything to become a World Champion, but does not feel he needs to become a disruptive influence on the team in order to do well.

“I think everyone knows that,” he added. “For sure every driver wants to be world champion, but I am so hungry for it. I’m ready to do anything it takes.”

“Normally my style is not to mess with other people’s things.

“I tend to focus on my performance and getting the most out of myself and the team around me.

“I’m not planning to change anything of what I do.

“I believe if I perform consistently from race one then for sure we can have a bit more of a challenge with Lewis on track.

“Even though something would change, I can’t see any issues of why we wouldn’t be able to work together in the team.

“I just tend not to deal with that stuff. I just want to focus on my performance and that will hopefully get me further.

“Even though the harmony is there, I don’t see that it is making Lewis a better driver. I think he’s always on it.”

Rosberg predicts a fifth title for Hamilton

Date published: February 17 2018

Nico Rosberg has put forward his prediction for this year’s title fight with Lewis Hamilton taking the title by a single point ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Last season the Mercedes and Ferrari driver locked horns in the opening half of the campaign with Vettel leading the standings.

A dismal run from Ferrari cost the German dearly while Hamilton and Mercedes surged ahead in the development race.

Five wins in the latter half of the championship saw Hamilton seal the crown ahead of Vettel.

And this year Rosberg reckons it will be more of the same, only a littel closer.

“My prediction corresponds to what happened last year,” he told German television RTL.

“So Lewis Hamilton wins, this time just one point ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

“After that is Lewis’ team-mate Valtteri Bottas and the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.”

Hamilton chasing perfect reliability – again

Date published: February 14 2018

Having completed every lap of the 2017 season, Lewis Hamilton says that level of reliability needs to be Mercedes’ goal for the 2018 campaign.

Last year Hamilton, on his way to a fourth World title, covered every lap of every grand prix – the only driver to do so.

Added to that he did so in the points, scoring in all 20 grands prix to amass 363 points, winning the title by 46 ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

This year the British racer is hoping to put in a repeat performance in his new Mercedes W09.

“We plan on completing every lap, that’s our goal,” Hamilton told GPUpdate.net.

“Of course it’s going to be harder for us to do that, but that’s what we plan to do.

“I have every faith and belief in the team they can do that.

“It’s a huge, huge task and perhaps [2017] is a golden year for us, but no reason for us [not to repeat it].”

Bottas wants to extend Hamilton partnership

Date published: February 13 2018

Valtteri Bottas is hoping he can continue being team-mates with Lewis Hamilton after he “clicked well” with him in their first season together.

Both Mercedes drivers are out of contract at the end of the 2018 season, with Hamilton’s new deal said to be close to being announced while Bottas will have to earn a new contract.

But Bottas is wanting to keep the dynamic with Hamilton as he is a driver that gives him the ultimate test.

“For me it’s good for Lewis to continue,” Bottas said.

“I clicked well with him, and he’s a quick driver and a challenge.

“The best contract argument [for me] is to win as many races as possible.”

Bottas has also been getting to grips with the new Mercedes car, and believes the team have delivered something even better than the W08.

“I have been in the factory a couple of times and worked on the simulator,” Bottas added. “The team has done well.

“It always depends on what the other teams have done as well, but we believe that our car is better than last year.

“There is one goal for the season: to fight for the championship. I know all the people now and how it all works.”

Bottas was recently at Mercedes HQ and gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at what was going on.

‘Hamilton handles pressure, Vettel folded’

Date published: February 13 2018

Lance Stroll is hoping to take inspiration from Lewis Hamilton, not Sebastian Vettel, as he progresses through his Formula 1 career.

Stroll will be the most experienced driver at Williams in 2018, starting his second campaign alongside rookie Sergey Sirotkin.

And the Canadian wants to emulate Hamilton and the way he applies himself to races when the pressure is on.

“You saw in the title race last year how well Lewis handles pressure, (Sebastian) Vettel folded, but Lewis was able to handle that expectation,” Stroll said via the Daily Express.

“His car wasn’t always easy to drive. Mercedes struggled at a few races.

“But he still managed to get the most out of it and score points when he had to. He was consistent throughout the whole year. He really was on it, he was determined to score points every weekend.

“Hats off to him, he completely deserves the success he has had. He is extremely talented and I hope I can have half the success he’s had in my career.”

Hamilton and Vettel are both tied on four World Championships apiece and are set to do battle once again in 2018.