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Hamilton puzzled by Sochi weekend

NEWS STORY
01/05/2017

It's fair to say that, though rare, when Lewis Hamilton has an 'off' weekend, it is totally off, think Baku last year or Singapore 2015.

Sad to say, it appears that Sochi 2017 can be added to the list, the Briton suffering a difficult weekend that while leaving him 13 points adrift of his championship rival Sebastian Vettel, also witnessed Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas' first win, leaving the Finn just 10 points adrift of the three-time world champion and stifling media calls for team orders.

"I can't explain it right now," he told reporters after the race. "We'll do some work over this week to fully understand it.

"I have some feelings about how it felt in the race and qualifying, I have some ideas," he continued, referring to his car. "Lots of work will be done to figure it out."

The signs were there in qualifying, while Bottas able to claim third on the grid just 0.095s shy of Vettel's best, the latest in a series of mistakes saw the Briton finish fourth quickest, 0.573s adrift of the German.

While Bottas made a great start, leading the pack into the first corner, Hamilton lost out to the Ferraris and over the course of the next 51 laps his frustration was obvious as he queried team instructions about car temperatures and even strategy.

"Why is my car overheating?" he asked, only to be told that his teammate had the same issues but was in clear air. "I'm out of the race now," he replied.

"In the race I had overheating," he told reporters later, "but I think I could have kept up with the guys ahead but I should have been further up with better pace in general, and that was lacking from Saturday onwards.

"From lap five onwards I had to just slow down and stay in fourth. A lot of turning down of the settings and power unit and then one of the cylinders was cutting because of the temperature issue. So I was going to be fourth from very early on.

"I can't remember having as difficult a weekend, probably last time was I can remember was probably Baku," he admitted. "Ultimately I was not quick enough, I could not put the car where I was comfortable, and then in the race it was overheating so I just had to settle for fourth."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Sochi, here.

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1. Posted by mickl, 02/05/2017 12:31

"I think it's called pwned......."

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