Lewis Hamilton has finally admitted that he believes Mercedes are in a position to win a grand prix in 2013.
Throughout pre-season and even during the first two races, Hamilton denied that he was aiming to win this year, but following a strong third place finish in Malaysia, he appears to have changed his tune.
When asked by Autosport if he could win this season, Hamilton said “definitely.”
“I think the Malaysia performance proves that if we keep going in the direction we are heading, then we can win a race at some stage this year.”
Hamilton even suggested that Mercedes could have won last Sunday’s race in Malaysia had he not needed to save fuel.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough fuel in the car. I was fuel saving at the end like you would not believe. I was coasting everywhere.
“I’m sure if we were all on the same fuel it would have been a different situation, so I’m confident about that. ”
Mercedes certainly proved that they could compete with the front runners in Malaysia, finishing in third and fourth, but their pace in the opening race in Australia does undermine Hamilton’s beliefs. However, until Mercedes entered fuel saving mode towards the end of the Malaysian GP, they did manage to stick with both Red Bull drivers.
The result certainly bodes well for the team, and relying they can continue to develop the W04, one would expect the Silver Arrows to be challenging for victories in 2013.
While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.
19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.
“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”
O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.
Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.
In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.
O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.
But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.
After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”
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