Lewis Hamilton is refusing to dwell on the 43-point deficit to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the Formula 1 drivers’ championship, saying he has 17 more races to “give him hell”.
Rosberg claimed his seventh straight grand prix victory in Russia on Sunday by going lights-to-flag, while Hamilton was left to settle for second place after battling back from P10 on the grid.
The result allowed Rosberg to extend his points lead yet again, leaving Hamilton with a mountain to climb heading to the first European race of the season in Spain later this month.
Speaking to NBCSN after the race, Hamilton said he had no problem with being beaten by Rosberg, but was concerned that he was not being given the car to give him a chance to fight back after an issue in qualifying forced him to miss Q3.
“My concern is not about beating Nico,” Hamilton said. “I don’t have a problem with that.
“It’s more the guys giving me a car to be able to fight equally with him. That’s my concern.”
Hamilton said that Rosberg’s life is inevitably made easier by his points lead, but is refusing to back down with 17 races still to run this season.
“Of course it makes it easier,” Hamilton said.
“It’s got a buffer knowing even with one or two bad weekends he’s still in the fight, which is a huge confidence boost.
“He’s been at the front with no one to really bother him, so it’s been a nice Sunday drive for him.
“There’s still 17 races to go and 17 times I can give him hell.”