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F1 Raceweek: Hamilton expecting tricky race as Briton eyes sixth title

Omnisport
NEWS
News
23 Oct 2019, 05:06 IST
Hamilton-Cropped
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the F1 title in Mexico in 2018

Lewis Hamilton believes it will be "tricky" for Mercedes to have success at the Mexican Grand Prix as he looks to clinch a sixth drivers' championship.

Hamilton can move one title behind Michael Schumacher's record if he increases his advantage at the top of the standings by another 14 points.

He has clinched his last two titles in Mexico, though it is Red Bull's Max Verstappen who has triumphed in each of the past two races at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Hamilton is not expecting the track to suit the Silver Arrows this time around. 

"I think Mexico is generally our worst race of the year because of the way our car is set up and it's going to be a tough one for us," said Hamilton.

"The last few have been pretty shocking, even though we've won the title there. I'm hoping for a better weekend but I think it's going to be very hard to beat the Ferraris with those long straights.

"We have no hope of getting by on those straights, that's for sure but even if you look at the others, the McLarens are picking up some serious speeds on the straights, so are the Red Bulls so I think it will be a tricky one.

"I don't anticipate it will be Mexico. I think we will be battling for a good few races."

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TALK OF THE PADDOCK

Carlos Sainz finished seventh for McLaren at the Japanese Grand Prix, behind both Ferraris, Mercedes and Red Bulls.

He is sixth in the drivers' championship as McLaren return to competitiveness after a series of struggles, with the eight-time constructors champions able to enjoy mixing it at the front of races again.

Sainz rejected suggestions McLaren are simply "best of the rest", saying: "We are not only best of the rest but we are managing to profit if something happens to the guys in front."

"Yeah, that's why when on Sundays people ask me 'another best of the rest?," Sainz said when asked if he felt his achievements were akin to victories.

"It sounds a bit disappointing to me because it's really tough to keep doing it every weekend. But we've been very strong and I'm very proud of it."

Meanwhile, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl rejected talk of a concept change for 2020 will put the progress they have made in jeopardy.

"I would say where we are right now - it is not a risk, it is an opportunity," explained Seidl.

"Our target is clear: we want to make the next step. So hopefully we can jump somewhere in between where we are right now and the top teams, which would be the next great achievement as a team."


RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)

Friday
FP1 (10:00-11:30)
FP2 (14:00-15:30)

Saturday
FP3 (10:00-11:00)
Qualifying (13:00-14:00)

Sunday
Race (13:10-15:10)

F1 FACT

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2018: Max Verstappen
2017: Max Verstappen
2016: Lewis Hamilton

DRIVER STANDINGS

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 338
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 274 (-59)
3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 221 (-117)
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 212 (-126)
5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 212 (-126)

CONSTRUCTOR STANDINGS

1. Mercedes 612
2. Ferrari 433 (-179)
3. Red Bull 323 (-289)
4. McLaren 111 (-501)
5. Renault 77 (-535)

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