Hamilton: This can be Mercedes’ year

Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton is confident that 2014 could be a highly successful year for Mercedes as he enters his second season with the German team.

After a seismic change in the technical regulations for the coming season and a downsize in engines, there has been a reshuffling of the pecking order in Formula 1. However, Mercedes has been the team to beat throughout testing, and Hamilton seems confident that he might have his best chance to win a second world championship in many years.

“I think we’re as ready as we can be for Melbourne and I’m more fired up than ever,” Hamilton explained. “With all the changes within the sport and the hard work that’s been going on within the team, I believe this can be our year to really show what we’re capable of.

“That’s not to take anything away from our opposition, who will be incredibly tough to beat as always, but I feel like I’m equipped with the tools I need to succeed. I can’t wait to get started.”

Teammate Nico Rosberg is similarly optimistic following such as successful testing period, although he remains somewhat cautious ahead of the first round of the year.

“Overall, I think our winter testing programme went better than expected,” the German driver explained. “Having said that, the first grand prix is the first real opportunity to judge how well we have done against our competition.

“Pre-season doesn’t tell the full story, especially this year with the new regulations. I’m really looking forward to getting the season underway and can’t wait to be back in the car again.”

If testing is to be taken as an indicator of the year to come, we could see a straight fight between Hamilton and Rosberg for the championship. However, both drivers will be looking to simply make it to the checkered flag in Melbourne, with reliability being a primary concern for most of the teams.

Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”