Hamilton unconcerned by Rosberg’s ‘home’ advantage

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Lewis Hamilton is not bothered about any perceived home advantage Nico Rosberg may enjoy at next weekend’s German Grand Prix as he sets his sights on seizing the lead of the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton took an emotional home victory in front of the British fans at Silverstone last weekend, and moved to within four points of his teammate at the top of the standings after Rosberg retired from the race.

Heading to Germany, the home support should now lie with Rosberg, but Hamilton believes that it will not compare to the support that he enjoyed at Silverstone.

“Just going into Germany, to Hockenheim, I know whilst it’s Nico’s home Grand Prix, he doesn’t have even one eighth of the support us Brits get here,” Hamilton said. “The fans are unlike anywhere else so I’m not worried in that sense.

“It’s a track where I won before, in 2008 I think it was. It’s a good track for me, so I’m gonna use the pace that I have, because I have the pace. I’ve just got to put the damn laps together and when I do, then I think the opportunities will come in front of me.”

Hamilton claimed victory at the 2008 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim during his championship winning year, and has traditionally run well at the circuit.

Although Rosberg will have the support of the home crowd, he will know that his slender championship lead is under serious threat ahead of the sport’s summer break at the end of the month. He may be four points ahead, but for now, the momentum unquestionably lies with Hamilton on the other side of the garage.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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