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Lewis Hamilton: "I am not a three-time Formula 1 world champion by luck"

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Lewis Hamilton: "I am not a three-time Formula 1 world champion by luck"
Apr 8, 2016, 3:44 PM

Lewis Hamilton feels that he has not become a three-time Formula 1 world “through luck” as he described his approach to each Grand Prix weekend...

Lewis Hamilton feels that he has not become a three-time Formula 1 world “through luck” as he described his approach to each Grand Prix weekend.

The Mercedes driver, who has won 43 F1 races but is still yet to win in 2016, is well known for his jet-setting lifestyle away from the race track, but Hamilton explained how he has found a unique approach to his job that suits him.

In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Hamilton said: “Everyone has their own way of working. For example, I just sat with my engineer and talked about starting.

Lewis Hamilton Peter Bonnington

“We had gone through some documents [and] I then told him that I had already read [them]. He was surprised. And I replied to him: ‘Just because I have not read it here before your eyes, it does not mean that I do not do my homework.’

“I have not [become a] triple world champion through luck. [or] without reason, [and] I can show that number of race wins.”

Hamilton, who recovered to finish third in last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix after a Turn 1 clash with Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, described how he prefers to meticulously study each part of his F1 preparation individually before moving onto the next, rather than getting through everything in one go.

Lewis Hamilton

He said: “I prepare at home before in my room, or on the flight. I do not like to process a whole book or a whole file in one piece. Maybe I open one e-mail per day [and] then I digest then intensively. Then comes the next.

“[This] is the way I work. I wish people would see more of the technical side. It's a great feeling when you are sitting with these super intelligent engineers in a room and I can contribute my practical vision to transform all the great ideas of the engineers into something that I can use on the track.”

Bottas "braked too late"

Bahrain GP start

Bottas has admitted that he braked too late for the first corner of Bahrain Grand Prix, but still feels that the speed of the Mercedes drivers also contributed to his clash with Hamilton.

The Williams had made a rapid start to last weekend’s Bahrain race as he went from sixth on the grid to third on the approach to Turn 1, just behind Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

As the pack went through the tight first corner, Bottas and Hamilton collided at the apex and the world champion suffered floor damage and dropped down the order.

ahrain Grand Prix start

Bottas was later given a drive through penalty as the race stewards judged the Williams driver to be at fault for the crash.

While Bottas accepts that he braked too late for the corner, the Finn also believes that the Mercedes drivers could have taken the turn at a higher speed.

He said: "About one hundred metres before Turn 1, that was the highlight of my race. After that everything was very disappointing.

Valtteri Bottas

"I was committed to Turn 1, braking late. I think probably the Mercedes cars, they didn't expect anyone to be inside there, and maybe I braked too late as well. It's a shame.

"I think definitely I could have braked earlier, but at the same time I didn't expect them to slow down that much and be so tight into Turn 1 and not carrying any speed.

"Sometimes it works, and sometimes you brake too early and someone passes you from outside, and that's how it goes."

Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas

Hamilton: "Bottas does not need to apologise"

Although the Turn 1 incident cost Hamilton any chance of fighting Rosberg for the race win, the Briton insisted that Bottas did not have to apologise to him.

Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport, Hamilton said: "Valtteri [does not need to] apologise to me, it was a normal racing incident."

Hamilton has qualified on pole for the opening two races of the 2016 season but has been beaten off the line by Rosberg on both occasions and by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in Australia.

Lewis Hamilton

However, the 31-year-old explained that he is not too worried about the recent getaway problems as it is only the start of a long, 21-race season.

He said: “I told my engineers that it’s only the start of the season – only two of 21 races. I know what I can [do]. With this car we again have an excellent foundation."

Mercedes blames "hardware issue"

Mercedes’ motorsport boss, Toto Wolff, reckons the squad’s start problems, which also caused Rosberg problems on the formation lap in Bahrain, is a hardware issue and he explained that the team was working with Daimler to come up with a solution.

XPB.cc Toto Wolff

He said: "We tend to believe it's more of a hardware issue than just a control electronics problem and you can't solve that from one race to the other.

"We are working on trying to sort it out. The way we assess clutches and the way we run and calibrate them, and obviously how the drivers use them, needs to be optimised.

"Mainly the collaboration with Daimler is around optimising the hardware and that needs a little bit of time. I am not sure yet when we will have results."

Bahrain Grand Prix start

What did you make of the Turn 1 crash in Bahrain? Was it just a racing incident? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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