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Hamilton has ‘twice the desire’ to recapture F1 crown in 2017

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Lewis Hamilton says he has “twice the desire” to recapture the Formula 1 World Championship next year following his narrow loss to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in 2016.

Hamilton finished five points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ championship following their showdown in Abu Dhabi last month, ending his two-year stint as World Champion.

Hamilton won 10 races in 2016 – more than any driver in F1 history not to have won the championship – but had his title bid harmed by a number of reliability issues through the season.

Speaking to TIME for its “Year Ahead” issue, Hamilton said that he felt he was not given an equal opportunity as Rosberg through 2016 due to the problems with his car.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have equal opportunity, because I had failures on our side of the garage,” Hamilton said.

“The other side didn’t. So that puts more stress on the importance of myself sucking every ounce of opportunity.

“At the end, that’s all I could have done. I didn’t do anything dangerous. I didn’t put anyone in harm’s way. I’d do it again. You’re out there to fight.”

Despite his agonizing championship defeat, Hamilton said that he is in a positive frame of mind and feels more motivated than ever to capture a fourth title in 2017 with Mercedes.

“I’m in a good head space. I have a process that I need to take into next year,” Hamilton said.

“When I lost the championship, the motivation to want to take it back next year became twofold.

“I now have twice the desire.”

Alexander Rossi’s Grand Prix of Alabama gamble fails to pay off

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Alexander Rossi bobbled for the first time in 2018 with an 11th-place finish in the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

And to add insult to injury, Rossi also lost the points lead as a result.

Rossi got off to about as great a start to the season as possible. He finished third at St. Petersburg and sat third in the standings. He finished third again at Phoenix and climbed to second in the points.

Rossi won the Long Beach Grand Prix after starting from the pole and leading 71 laps. That put him at the top of the standings after three races.

Then, as quickly as he climbed to the top, he got knocked down a spot after finishing off the podium for the first time in 2018.

Rossi not only missed the podium, he finished outside the top 10.

“We didn’t get the result that we wanted,” Rossi said after the race. “That remains a mystery. But at the end of the day it was about survival. We couldn’t make the tires last; we couldn’t really get a great fuel number.”

The biggest negative was the one factor that was mostly out of his control. Rossi gambled that he was facing only a brief shower when rain began to fall with about 15 minutes remaining. He was wrong.

“We tried to be pretty aggressive on the dry tires and stay out and survive the rain, hoping it would dry out,” Rossi said. “And it didn’t really work.

“Sometimes you’ll have those days.”