Hamilton: “We have got a lot of work to do”

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Lewis Hamilton has called on Mercedes to up their game following a disastrous Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

The British driver finished 12th after starting 2nd at the Circuit de Catalunya, and he struggled to hold other drivers back thanks to the high tire wear that Mercedes experienced during the race. His teammate, Nico Rosberg, also failed to perform despite starting on pole position, eventually finishing 6th.

“It was way too tough,” he told the BBC. “We have got a lot of work to do.

“We both went backwards, but I went back a long, long way and I don’t know why. We will keep going back to the drawing board and see what we can do.”

Mercedes had been looking to remedy its tire woes over the three week break following the Bahrain Grand Prix, and many believed that the team could finally secure its first win in 2013 after locking out the front row in qualifying yesterday. Hamilton still has faith in the team despite now trailing championship leader Sebastian Vettel by 39 points.

“The team are fantastic and the work they have been doing is terrific we have just got a lot to do to catch up with the others but we will get there.”

The result was certainly a disastrous one for Mercedes, marking the first time since 1996 that the Spanish Grand Prix was not won by a driver starting in the top two. The team will be keen on fixing the issue for the Monaco Grand Prix, but they will have a race against time if they are to grace the top step of the podium at F1’s glamor event.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

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.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

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 would seem right for 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 — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).