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Hamilton: No mental edge over Vettel despite spins

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Hamilton: No mental edge over Vettel despite spins
By:
Co-author: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Apr 11, 2019, 1:27 PM

Lewis Hamilton doesn't believe he has a psychological edge over Formula 1 rival Sebastian Vettel despite the latter spinning out during their battle in Bahrain.

The Bahrain spin marked the second major error Vettel has made as of late while battling Hamilton, after an overtake from the Briton prompted him to likewise spin at the start in Monza last year.

But when asked whether he had a mental advantage over his adversary, Hamilton said: "I don’t feel that way, I don’t go into a battle with him and feel that I’ve got one up on him, or anything like that. I enjoy racing wheel to wheel with anyone, doesn’t matter who it is.

“I go in with the same mentality, so it doesn’t matter what driver it is is in the world, here or any other class, I’d approach it exactly the same.

"That’s probably not a good question for me, you probably have to ask him!”

Hamilton has previously stressed that Vettel's errors were "miniscule", with Vettel appreciative of his comments.

In Bahrain, Vettel ended up playing second fiddle to Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, a newcomer to the Italian outfit.

Hamilton said he doesn't see many parallels between Leclerc's arrival at Ferrari and his own first season at McLaren in 2007 alongside Fernando Alonso - and suggested he doesn't expect to benefit from any intra-team strife at Ferrari.

"Time will tell. I can’t say whether it’s going to play in my hands," he said of the Ferrari situation. "It doesn’t look like it will right this second. I’ve got to fight with two drivers and focus on competing at my best because they’re both very quick."

Hamilton and Vettel were the main protagonists in the last two F1 title battles, but the reigning champion doesn't believe this year's contest to be focused on them once more.

Instead, Hamilton tips the Red Bull-Honda package to emerge as a factor.

"At the moment it’s clearly not just me and Sebastian,” Hamilton said. “So, I don’t see that changing any time soon. At the moment it’s at least four of us and the Red Bulls, you definitely can’t count them out.

“They’ve had a bit of a slower start, but I think if you look at last year for example they won the race here and they particularly finished strong. I anticipate it could be something similar.

“On the straights they’ve been really good so they are clearly, whereas they usually have a really strong car and not-so-strong engine, it’s the other way this year.

"They’ve got not as strong a car. But they’re one of the teams that can develop at a similar rate to Ferrari and us so it’s far too early to say.”

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