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Hamilton admits Mercedes exceeding expectation

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that Mercedes is exceeding his expectations so far in 2013.
Lewis Hamilton has admitted that three pole positions and a front-running car was beyond his expectations when he signed to drive for Mercedes before the end of the 2013 season.

Although he has only claimed one of the three poles – team-mate Nico Rosberg having been fastest of all in both Bahrain and Barcelona – the Briton has two podium finishes from four races and currently sits third in the overall standings. Despite not yet finishing outside the top five, Hamilton insists that he did not expect to be so competitive so early in his Mercedes career.

“I don't think we expected it, definitely not,” he told the media after qualifying in Spain, “Especially for Nico, in the last couple of years, they have had a really difficult time in the team with the cars and, coming to the team, I definitely didn't expect to have such a competitive car.

“But, obviously, I'm massively pleased that we do and it's great to be able to put on performances like we have today, encouraging the team and the guys back at the factory to keep pushing to improve and bring more developments. We're not there yet, but this is a good starting point for us.”

Despite not having had the best of starts to the Barcelona weekend, Hamilton was able to set the pace in the opening two phases of qualifying before being pipped by team-mate Rosberg in the battle for pole.

“Obviously, this is still great for us today, to be one and two on the grid, but I've just been struggling all weekend,” he confirmed, “Even my long runs have been pretty poor but, on one lap pace, the car doesn't seem to be too bad.

“I've just been a little bit lost generally, not really knowing what things to change and which direction to go, so I kind of didn't really make many changes into P3 and into qualifying, I just left the car the same. I didn't really make any changes to it, I wasn't 100 per cent comfortable, but I knew that it was good enough to do what we did today.”

Asked whether starting from the front row could lead, as the Spanish GP record books suggest, lead to a victory for his new team, Hamilton was quick to play down the suggestion.

“We've got improve our race pace but, obviously, we have very good qualifying pace,” he noted, “I hope, in the near future, we will get our win, but we'll work for it tomorrow.

“We've got to approach [the race] with caution because tomorrow is going to be tough. Today, I didn't have two option sets at the end, which would have helped a little bit [and] my side of the grid isn't really the place to be.

[Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel] have a good position on the cleaner side, but we'll do the best job we can from the start. I think more of concern is tyre degradation. Looking after those tyres is going to be an interesting one. I really hope that we can try and get into turn one first, in a 1-2. That'd be really good for the team.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
11.05.2013- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
11.05.2013- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
11.05.2013- Qualifying, (L-D) 2nd position Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 pole position and 3rd position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
11.05.2013- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Mechanics Mercedes
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
25.07.2014- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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Arthur - Unregistered

May 12, 2013 3:56 PM

Laurels to Paul. Brilliant drive by Lewis, 2nd to 12th. Typical solid race by Jenson, 14th to 8th, via 17th, in a dog of a car. McLaren need a new Director. Drivers are both up to any challenge, but give them a fighting chance. The car must be able to out accelerate a Ford Fiesta, at least........ Jensons not the only driver to out perform Lewis now, Nico too......what will Lewis' s acolytes say now? Alonso was simply far too good for such a crummy race, where tyre degradation and poor racing cars had more influence than the best efforts of great drivers. Poor stuff.



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