Hamilton gets ‘greased’ in bid to catch Max

Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton prepare for the second practice session at the Red Bull Ring race track in Spielberg, Austria, on July 2, 2021, ahead of the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

  • With Verstappen and Hamilton leading the charge for their respective teams, the second drivers for Red Bull and Mercedes then become crucial in the Constructors’ battle. 

Lewis Hamilton has “re-doubled his contribution” at Mercedes in the fight against Red Bull, according to technical director James Allison.

Currently on a run of seven Drivers’ and Constructors’ title doubles which started back in 2014, Mercedes understandably went into the 2021 campaign as clear favourites, though so far the resistance they have faced from Red Bull has been mighty. The Austrian outfit have now claimed four consecutive victories, and boast a 40-point lead over Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship.

And after his dominant win at the Styrian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen now holds an 18-point lead over Hamilton in the Drivers’ standings as he looks to repeat his heroics at the Red Bull Ring at the Austrian Grand Prix today.

End of an era?
But in the face of this new competition, Allison assured that Mercedes’ seven-time champ Hamilton has doubled his efforts to ensure that Red Bull do not end their spell of dominance in the turbo hybrid era.

“He wants to be driving a car that allows him to showcase his skill,” said Allison on the F1 Nation podcast. “But he is absolutely brilliant for us in these circumstances because he is so focused on winning and on championships that his response to a situation like this is just to re-double his contribution.

“He was in our factory running a lot of simulator laps last week, and he is committed as anybody to making sure we find the edge we need to to be able to put pressure on the Red Bull in front, and you see him at his absolute best.”

With Verstappen and Hamilton leading the charge for their respective teams, the second drivers for Red Bull and Mercedes then become crucial in the Constructors’ battle. 

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