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Hamilton's thoughts 'already' on title race

10 April, 2018, 20:07 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Credit Wolfgang Wilhelm  Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

Verstappen did not agree with the stewards' verdict that the collision was a racing incident.

"Today wasn't the best of days and tomorrow is going to be one of the hardest races for us in some time", said the world champion.

Given Vettel's history of run-ins with Verstappen on the track, the defence of his rival perhaps isn't too surprising, however, for Red Bull team boss Christian Horner to also support the four-time champion was just as surprising. I went through that when I was younger so I know how it is. I think to myself if Fernando [Alonso] was in that vehicle today he would have finished a decent race and got points for Red Bull.

"Calling him a "****head" in the cool-down room as he watched highlights of the grand prix, Hamilton later added: "There needs to be a certain respect between drivers.

Later in the press conference though, the German would take over a question posed by a Dutch reporter asking Hamilton directly about the term he used.

"My thoughts are on the world championship and I've lost two races now".

"Can I answer that?" he said. So, don't take it personal, but I think we should cut it right there'.

"From the start I was enjoying the feel of the vehicle and finding the gaps and it was shaping up to be an exciting race".

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"From Max's position Lewis should have conceded the corner, given up, and from Lewis's position he's saying Max gave him no room to work with".

"The emotion is always firing when you are just out of the vehicle", he continued.

Hamilton, who stressed at the start of the weekend the battle at the front was closer than it appeared in Melbourne, reiterated Mercedes had a serious challenge on their hands.

"When I look at it, and I came back and looked at the replay, my opinion hasn't changed", he said. "I can't really remember at what stage of the race it was or why we were even in that position, but yeah, I don't really care to be honest".

"Ferrari have obviously done a great job", Hamilton told reporters.

"Then I accepted defeat and I just backed out because I knew he was going to try and run me wide".

The defending champion, who will fulfil sponsorship commitments on Tuesday and Wednesday, was victorious in China past year and will be desperate to get his title charge back on track following two winless rubbers.

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