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Hamilton: Tough to match Ferrari’s 'jet fuel' in Sochi

  • Published on 28 Sep 2019 17:48
  • comments 6
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Rob Watts

Lewis Hamilton says it will be tough for him to win tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix and believes even if he’d secured pole position, Ferrari would ‘blast past us with their jet fuel’ before Turn 1.

The Mercedes driver is without a pole position since the German Grand Prix in July and remarkably has only two poles from the past 10 races - his worst run during the hybrid era.

With Mercedes opting for the more durable medium tyre to qualify in Sochi, Hamilton said he squeezed “everything and maybe a little bit more” from his car to be able to split the Ferraris and secure a front-row start for tomorrow’s race.

“I think it was a really good lap, I think honestly last time in Singapore it felt like a really good lap as well. I was just saying to Charles that already by turn we were three-tenths down so it’s very, very hard to catch up but nonetheless, I pushed as hard as I could,” said Hamilton.

“I was really, really happy with the lap, it all came together and it was the best of the weekend as it should be. No mistakes so I really feel like I got everything and maybe a little bit more from the car to split the Ferraris once again, which is not an easy task.

Asked for his reasoning behind choosing an alternate tyre strategy to Leclerc, Hamilton suggested that beating Ferrari on raw pace might be difficult and the key to winning the race is likely “to be about strategy”.

“I just wanted to do something different. I haven’t beaten them for a while so I can’t tell you, but I'll tell you at the end tomorrow,” said Hamilton.

"Time will tell [if we’ve chosen the right tyre], but of course, if I'm able to try and somehow keep Seb behind so there’s only one car ahead, that changes things on top.

"Naturally, we’re going to push as hard as we can, but it’s going to be very, very hard down to Turn 1, it’s a long drag.

“Even if we were in the lead, for example, if we were on pole, they’re just so fast on the straights, by the time we get to Turn 1, they’ll blast past us with their jet fuel or whatever it is. So, yeah I think it’s going to be about strategy and that’s why we're on a different tyre.”

Replies (6)

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  • Drove brilliantly today and split the Ferraris - not an easy thing to do of late! top three teams have the top three drivers, the way it should be. Tracked look bloody tricky though, there will be issues in the race for sure tomorrow.

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2019 - 17:58
  • Mansell

    Posts: 58

    Yet it was fine when you had said jet fuel......

    • + 1
    • Sep 28 2019 - 20:01
  • Sadtomato

    Posts: 32

    Jet fuel sounds about right. I think that Ferrari's performance must be down to whatever the witches at Shell have brewed up since the FIA have cleared their battery set up as legal. The teams all have to race the same tyres, why not make them race the same fuel and make it standard unleaded that we all use to keep the cost down. F1 should be about cars not chemistry.

    • + 0
    • Sep 28 2019 - 21:00
    • xoya

      Posts: 458

      Make them use 84 octane fuel that 'mericans use.
      8.6liter straight six engines with 75hp. No replacement for displacement.

      Just being a sarcastic ass tbh, because I don't agree with your opinion. Sorry. :)

      • + 1
      • Sep 28 2019 - 21:59
    • Yeah I disagree. The fuel development carries down to our unleaded stuff, so it is vital for our fuel economy for such research to proceed. F1 is already about mechanical engineering to a great degree, might aswell throw in some chemistry. Also, fuel dev is on Shell's own tab, not the teams'.

      Also, to narrow Ferrari's pace down to just the fuel it to forget the hard work the engine team has done to beat bloody Merc' in their home field.

      Also,

      • + 0
      • Sep 29 2019 - 07:59
  • "I'm special, I drove bestest, but their cars are just too fast".

    • + 0
    • Sep 29 2019 - 08:00

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