Hamilton: I did as good as I could today

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Lewis Hamilton was pleased to limit the impact of Nico Rosberg’s victory at today’s German Grand Prix by finishing in third place, saying after the race: “I did as good as I could today.”

The Mercedes driver started the race way back down in 20th position after crashing heavily during the first part of qualifying yesterday. His car required a new gearbox, meaning that he had to take a grid penalty, and was staring down the barrel of a sizeable championship deficit to Rosberg had he failed to score.

However, he produced a stunning drive to charge through the field and finish on the podium, and he explained on the podium after the race some of the challenges that he faced.

“I had great fun,” Hamilton said. “It was great to see how many fans we had here today, thank you so much for the support.

“I did as good as I could today, it was very hard to get through the pack safely. I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson, I honestly thought that he was opening the door to let me past. he’s been a bit like that in last race for example, so my bad on judgement there.

“It was very hard to overtake at the end, they were so fast in the straights, but nonetheless I’m glad that I got some points today.”

In the post-race press conference, Hamilton was asked whether he was looking at the result as ‘glass half full’, given that he could be far further behind Rosberg in the championship, or ‘glass half empty’, as he may have won the race had he not started from so far back.

“I don’t really know how to answer that,” Hamilton said. “To get on the podium is quite an achievement, so perhaps half full.”

The Briton will be hoping to cut the gap to Rosberg at the next race in Hungary, where he has won on four previous occasions.

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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