Lewis Hamilton admits to Red Bull concerns ahead of Monaco Grand Prix – ‘Hard to beat’
F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?
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Lewis Hamilton believes the Monaco Grand Prix could be a real turning point in the championship, and reckons Max Verstappen has a good chance to close in on the lead, with just 14 points separating the pair at the top of the standings.
The reigning champion has made his joint-best start to a season in terms of race results, winning three of the opening four races and finishing second to title rival Verstappen in the other, collecting an impressive 94 points from a possible 104 so far, including the four available for the fastest lap.
Yet, despite winning last time out in Monaco in 2019, Hamilton doesn’t actually have the strongest stats around the iconic street circuit, with just three wins in 13 visits in the Principality.
And when asked if he has the same level of competitiveness this season as he did two years ago, the Briton replied laughing: “No, we don’t know what to expect.
“Naturally Red Bull were incredibly close two years ago, it’s a much different car, we have different tyres.
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“Red Bull are going to be very, very hard to beat this weekend, this is a track that really has always been strong for them, and given how close the gap is between us, you can imagine this weekend they could be ahead.
“But we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that’s not the case.”
Hamilton and Verstappen have had wheel-to-wheel scraps in all four races this season, with many battles for the lead between them, with both drivers fighting for their own personal milestones.
Hamilton is gunning for his eighth world title, making him the most successful driver in F1 history, whilst Verstappen in the Red Bull is vying for his first F1 title ever, yet with so much at stake, the seven-time world champion believes he knows why the pair haven’t collide on track yet.
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“I think I’ve done well to avoid all the incidents so far. Look, we’ve got 19 more to go, and we could connect, hopefully not,” replied Hamilton.
“I think the good thing is, there is a nice balance of amount of respect between us, I think perhaps as you know, feels he has a lot to prove, I’m not necessarily in the same boat there, and I’m more long term kind of, it’s a marathon not a sprint mentality.
“Which is ultimately why I have the stats that I have, so I’ll continue with that, and I’ll do everything to make sure that we avoid connecting.”
Hamilton and Verstappen had an epic battle round the streets of Monaco last time out, Verstappen finishing second on the road but, after contact with Valtteri Bottas in the pit lane, was relegated to fourth for an unsafe release time penalty.
It means the Dutchman has yet to add a podium finish that counts in Monaco, which looks to change this season after a string of consecutive podiums so far this season.
Monaco is also the first of two consecutive street races on the calendar, with the Azerbaijan GP in Baku following on in a fortnight’s time.
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