Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Lewis Hamilton not happy with proposed expansion plans, threatens to quit F1

Hamilton threatens to quit if F1 continues to expand Hamilton says Bottas pairing is the greatest in F1 history
Cary Erickson | 09 November, 2018, 14:41

"It's a lot of commitment for all of us and a lot of time away from families, and the seasons are getting longer and the off time is getting shorter".

Hamilton was speaking after Formula One announced on Wednesday it was adding Vietnam to the calendar.

Hamilton will on Friday return to his Mercedes cockpit for the first time since claiming his fifth championship in Mexico a fortnight ago.

"It's most likely I'm not going to be here when it gets to 25 that's for sure".

Since replacing 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg, Bottas has helped the team to win 21 races overall and gained total respect and trust from his British team-mate.

Sebastian Vettel says he is still committed to his personal "mission" of winning a title with Ferrari, despite another disappointing season with the Italian team.

While the drivers' title is done and dusted, the Constructors' championship has yet to be decided, with Ferrari trailing Mercedes by 55 points before the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"We have such a huge respect for each other", he said.

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He added that it was more important for the team to succeed in the constructors' championship.

The newly crowned world champion, who took his fifth title at the last round in Mexico, also said he had no plans to concede a victory to his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas at this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix. However, it is a statistic which can be overplayed - two of Hamilton's four previous championships were secured at the final race.

Bottas is winless this year and has played a significant number two role in Hamilton's title triumph - a role that the Englishman would perform, he said, if their positions were reversed.

Hamilton's quest to sign off in style may though ultimately depend on machinery rather than mentality.

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The team first tried changing the rear suspension's pick-up points for the Spanish Grand Prix in May (with the aim of exploiting the car's relatively high-rake design philosophy) which led to increased graining on the rear tyres, while the same problem occurred in Russian Federation when they tried the approach again, with Ferrari eventually deciding to take the upgrade off the auto following Friday's running at the proceeding Japanese Grand Prix. As a result, Mercedes have clinched the tiebreaker if the two teams end up tying in points when the season concludes.

But Hamilton pointed out that Mercedes had lacked competitiveness in the last two races in the U.S. and Mexico. "Some of it is still a mystery, some of it we understand. We don't know what's around the corner but I am hopeful of a positive weekend for everyone".