Lewis Hamilton has refused to write off his former team McLaren despite their disappointing performance in Australia last weekend.
McLaren scored just two points whilst Hamilton, now driving for Mercedes, finished a strong fifth on debut for the German team. Regardless, the 2008 world champion takes no pleasure out of McLaren’s struggle.
“No, I don’t look at them [McLaren] and think I’m happier.
“They have always been very strong at catching up. I feel that this is only a small little blip in their journey this year. I’m sure they’ll catch up.”
Hamilton instead focused on his own performance, and that of his team who have made changes to the W04 car ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix in an effort to improve their dry weather pace. He did however concede that the decision to move teams is already looking like the right one.
“I look at our performance and realize just how good of a choice it was obviously. The team have made some fantastic steps forward. Let’s hope that this car stays competitive through the year and we can continue to develop it.”
Hamilton has a good record in Malaysia, scoring points on each of his six visits to the Sepang International Circuit. He claimed pole position at the race last year, and although Mercedes may not be in a position to win yet, the Briton will be keen on finishing well within the points once again.
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Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.