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Hamilton: It's going to be a very, very hard slog

NEWS STORY
27/03/2017

While qualifying showed that Mercedes still has the edge as far as outright pace is concerned, Sebastian Vettel demonstrated that the Ferrari is close.

Next day the German demonstrated that when all goes to plan he and the Ferrari can take on the Silver Arrows and win.

Indeed, yesterday's win means that for the first time under the new formula introduced in 2014, a non-Mercedes powered driver leads the championship.

Lewis Hamilton is not only looking forward to battling Vettel this season, he is relishing the prospect, claiming that fans will also enjoy two multi champions going head-to-head.

"You are seeing the best against the best," he promised. "I am really grateful to have that fight with him.

“Finally we can have an actual race. It's going to be close, it's great to see Ferrari there.

"It's been a privilege to be racing in an era with him and now finally at a period of time when we can actually have a real race," he enthused. "I wish we could race a lot closer in the cars than we have today, but still I think the fact that we are similar pace-wise, it's going to be a very, very hard slog this season.

"Racing the best is what Formula One is all about," he added, "and ultimately it makes you work that much harder, having to raise the bar and I'm looking forward to that."

Fact is, based on the evidence thus far, it is going to be a very, very hard slog for the pit crew and tacticians, for yesterday proved time and time again that much of the racing is going to mean endless frustration as drivers are forced to remain around 2s down on their rivals unable to get any closer due to the dirty air from the car in front.

That new aggressive look we were promised has instead led to front wings that are architectural marvels, yet ultimately ultra-sensitive hindrances to real racing.

Consequently, the name of the game is going to be under-cutting and over-cutting in terms of pit stops, with the hard wearing 2017 tyres , that will often mean one-stop strategies, thereby adding to the sport's malaise.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Superbird70, 29/03/2017 11:59

"Make a tire that lasts 400km, and let them race. No DRS. No boost limits."

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2. Posted by bfairey, 28/03/2017 23:46

"Boring Boring"

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3. Posted by GrahamG, 28/03/2017 23:04

"Get ready for creative excuses and toys being thrown out of the Hamilton pram!"

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4. Posted by F One, 28/03/2017 20:10

"Fair enough Chris.

My pov is because DRS did the impossible and made overtaking boring. At least with a cunning strategy you can see they've worked for it and been clever. Getting with a second of the car in front and just pressing a button to sail past is worse than no overtaking.
Less is more. If overtaking is much harder then good! At least they might have to actually work for it now and I won't have to hear the nauseating words "Oh that's a classic DRS overtake" constantly.
And yes I agree that we don't want ballast.

I think ideally what they need to do is do away with qualifying altogether and just reverse the grid based upon pace for each race or based upon the previous race result. Putting the fastest car at the front almost guarantees no fight for the lead. I know that's artificial too but I can't stand the contrived knock out quali nonsense either. :)"

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5. Posted by Max Noble, 28/03/2017 11:46

"The only FIA rule required here is a 20 litre limit on the size of the fuel tank... hello five pit stop races... nothing artificial here... move along..."

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6. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 28/03/2017 11:28

"How about a return to fuel stops anyone? that will shake up tactics and allow for the engines to run more bhp as no fuel saving will be needed, are we going round in circles here (pardon the pun)."

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7. Posted by Editor, 28/03/2017 8:12

"F One,

OK then, let's celebrate new regulations whereby “tactical races” will entertain us. We will watch X shadow Y, A follow B and C all over the back of Z for lap after lap… until the one solitary pit stop.

And if you think DRS artificial, wait until Ross Brawn delivers the “success ballast”."

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8. Posted by Max Noble, 28/03/2017 0:54

"@F One - I know editor Balfe can write/speak for himself... however our concern (I believe) is that we risk a return to the days of drivers not risking on-track passes, as they will wait for the driver in front to pit, perform one or two flying laps, pit themselves and continue. In the past we've had leading drivers state after a race "...there was no need to risk an on track pass." So while we delight in the complexities of strategy, and cunning pit work, we do not want it at the total expense of on-track action. "

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9. Posted by F One, 27/03/2017 23:55

"Be nice if Pitpass would stop with the doom and gloom and talking down the sport. Tactical races are far more interesting than artificial DRS BS racing."

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