In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton indicated he is moving closer to agreeing terms with Mercedes to extend his contract beyond the end of the current season.
Hamilton wants to sort deal and “focus”
During the FIA press conference after yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix Hamilton said his representatives will meet with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff today. He later stated that “wasn’t a subtle hint” and it is “just another one of the meetings that we’re having.”
However he admitted the subject of his future was on his mind and he’s keen to finalise the arrangements so he can put more of his energies elsewhere.
“It’s always something that’s at the back of your mind so once that’s done, then you’re able to then focus more and think about the future,” he said. “As I said I’m working as hard as I can with this team and I see so much strength within the team, I think they’re still so hungry.”
Mercedes achieved their best result of the season so far in Spain. “When we go back right now there’ll be a great energy within the office,” said Hamilton, “but these guys, they’ll take two seconds to enjoy themselves and be happy and then they’ll be back down into the books and trying to figure out how we can win the next race so that’s what I love about them.”
Zhou “had to take avoiding action”
Zhou Guanyu dismissed Yuki Tsunoda’s claim he intentionally left the circuit as their pair fought for position to create the impression his rival hadn’t left him enough space. Tsunoda was given a five-second penalty after Zhou took to the run-off at turn one.
“It was very straightforward,” Zhou explained. “I was ahead before braking into turn one and then mid-corner I was actually giving a lot of space and then I just saw he wasn’t stopping, tried to release the brake and run me off. I had to take avoiding action in the escape road, otherwise we will be clashing together.
“So that was tricky after that because I had so much rubbish on my tyres. But in the end I was able to keep it behind in the right position and get the points position back.”
“Back to the drawing board” for Haas
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said they will have to rethink their approach to tyre management after both his drivers finished lower than they started. Nico Hulkenberg lost seven places and finished 15th. Kevin Magnussen took the chequered flag three places behind him.
“Quite a disappointing result today, we just couldn’t get the tyres to stay alive,” said Steiner. “We did one more pit stop than everyone else, but even if we hadn’t stopped, we would’ve gone slower and ended up there anyway.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and try to find a solution to our tyre degradation.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 40 years ago today Michele Alboreto scored Tyrrell’s final win in F1’s last race at Long Beach