Hamilton: we can’t keep relying on Red Bull’s mistakes

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has suggested that he cannot continue to rely on the mistakes of others if he’s to win this year’s Formula 1 world championship.

The Mercedes driver currently heads the standings over Max Verstappen with two wins in three races.

The first of those was somewhat fortuitous as Verstappen exceeded track limits when passing for the lead in the closing laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

That performance followed a tough pre-season out of which Red Bull emerged favourites.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s surprising because I know what my guys, or my team, is capable of,” Hamilton said of his current position atop the championship standings.

“Testing wasn’t great and at the first race obviously we were still up there, but you can see the deficit from us to the Red Bulls.

“In terms of overall output through the weekend, we’ve managed to do a better job.

“We really can’t continue to rely on mistakes from the others,” he added.

“We were just keeping our heads down and continue to work away.

“We’ve got a good package [but] it does have its weak areas, and that’s what we’re working on.”

Hamilton holds an eight-point advantage over Verstappen, who was victorious at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Round 2.

During that race, the Mercedes driver found himself in the wall after sliding off the track at Tosa, losing a lap as he recovered to the pits.

A red flag soon after then allowed him to storm back through the field to claim second position at the chequered flag.

It’s a mistake Hamilton acknowledges, but suggests he’s used as a learning experience.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

“I’m really happy with the output so far,” he said of his 2021 season.

“Naturally [I’m] always trying to raise the bar, that’s something that’s very difficult to do, and make as few mistakes as possible.

“There have been [mistakes still] and, I’m grateful for them because it’s just makes you stronger when you learn from those experiences.”

He remains wary of the threat posed by Verstappen and Red Bull for the remainder of the championship.

“You’ve seen Max really performing exceptionally well,” the 36-year-old said.

“He has a championship winning car, without a doubt, and a championship winning team who can really pull off the job this year if we don’t do our job.

“So I definitely think our experience will help us in terms of how we approach our weekends and how we bounce back from difficult weekends.

“I would like to think that experience will help.

“But at the end of the day, it’s still happening, you just have to do the job and minimise mistakes.”

Round 4 of this year’s championship, the Spanish Grand Prix, takes place in Barcelona this weekend.

Free Practice begins from 19:30 AEST this evening.

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