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Hamilton: Mercedes has to expect Red Bull will challenge in Melbourne

  • Published on 19 Dec 2019 17:29
  • comments 0
  • By: Dieter Rencken & Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes has to prepare for the possibility of Red Bull being challengers from the get-go in 2020.

The energy-drink squad ended the 2019 season strongly, keeping up with the theme of recent years - making gains in the second half of the season to consistently fight for race wins.

Red Bull won three races during the 2019 campaign, with Max Verstappen ending the drivers' championship in third place, ahead of both Ferrari drivers.

Mercedes wrapped up its sixth consecutive constructors' and drivers' championships this year, taking eight consecutive victories at the start of the season.

But Hamilton warns that Red Bull may be a threat to the Silver Arrows from the first race of the 2020 season in Melbourne. 

"I really have no idea how they will start next year," Hamilton said. "Generally, towards the end of the year, they are strong. Last year, they were quick in Brazil, they were fast in Abu Dhabi.

"It's often they get pretty strong towards the end of the year. I don't know why that's the case. They haven't been starting the season as strongly as Ferrari or us.

"But next year could change, you have to expect that that might be the case. Again, we're focused on doing our job and not worried about what others do."

Hamilton's tally of 413 points in 2019 marks the most he has ever claimed during his F1 career, which was more than enough to secure his sixth world title.

The Briton won 11 races throughout the year and stepped onto the podium 17 times. When asked to pick out his favourite races of the year, he highlighted a handful of events that stood out for him.

"Monaco is the least favourite of the year, or perhaps second least," he said, referencing the passing of Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda. "Hockenheim was probably the least [favourite]. 

"The best ones, Mexico was awesome. Silverstone was great, France was pretty awesome. I don't really remember every one."

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Driver profile

  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 2,680
  • Podiums 112
  • Grand Prix 140
  • Country GB
  • Date of b. Jan 7 1985 (37)
  • Place of b. Tewin, GB
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.74 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
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Bahrain
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Bahrain
16 - Apr 18 2021
Italy
30 - May 2 2021
Portugal
7 - May 9 2021
Spain
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan
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France
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Austria
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Austria
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United Kingdom
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Hungary
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Belgium
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands
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Italy
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Russian
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Japan
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Turkey
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America
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Mexico
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil
19 - Nov 21 2021
Qatar
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates
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United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20 2021
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29 2021
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian Sochi Autodrom
8 - Oct 10 2021
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey Istanbul Park
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
5 - Nov 7 2021
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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