Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said that he is doing all he can to overhaul teammate Nico Rosberg and take the lead of the drivers’ championship, and is ready to go head-to-head in a psychological battle.
The team’s advantage is such that it is already shaping up to be a fight between the two drivers for the championship this season. The management has allowed them to race up to now, but this nearly ended in tears at the Bahrain Grand Prix when the two were embroiled in an epic tussle for the lead that the Briton ultimately won.
Hamilton enjoyed a more comfortable victory in China last time out, and he is keen on ensuring that he maintains this advantage over Rosberg in the coming races.
“Nico will be massively quick at every race we go to,” he told Autosport. “I was determined to make sure that in China we were not close, like we were at the last race. It was definitely feeling a bit more like it was in Malaysia.
“I am going to keep on working and keep with the approach I have, because it is working perfectly for me.”
Although Hamilton appears to have rattled Rosberg in the early psychological battle, the Briton still believes that the advantage lies with his teammate by virtue of his four point championship lead.
“He is still leading the championship, isn’t he? In sports, it is all a psychological game,” Hamilton said.
“So of course, getting good results you cannot measure what effect that has on people. But I know how positive it is on me.”
Having won the last three races, the momentum certainly lies with Hamilton, but there is everything to play for heading to the first European race of the season in Spain next weekend.
SAKHIR, Bahrain – Fernando Alonso will take his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he tests an LMP1 car for Toyota on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.
McLaren Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Alonso is hoping to appear at Le Mans next year as part of his bid to become just the second man in history to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.
Alonso has already completed one leg by winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren-Honda-Andretti, retiring late on due to an engine failure.
Momentum is building for Alonso to make his Le Mans debut with Toyota in 2018, starting with a first sports car run-out in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday.
Alonso arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to watch the six-hour WEC race as an invited guest of the Bahraini royal family, with his participation in the test being confirmed after the race.
“We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer,” Toyota Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata said.
“We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”
Alonso will share running in the Toyota car with 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, who received a test as a prize for his star display during his rookie WEC campaign this year, while regular Toyota racer Mike Conway will also complete laps.