RACE DEBRIEF

    Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton said at Monza that he can still uphold his record of being the only driver to win a Grand Prix in every season of their career – despite maintaining that he doesn’t care about beating or holding records in F1.

    Hamilton challenged for a win last time out at Zandvoort as Mercedes attempted a one-stop strategy that was ultimately dashed by late cautions, before Max Verstappen took his fourth straight victory. The Briton was asked whether he cares about winning a race this season, as he has done every year since making his F1 debut in 2007.

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    “Honestly, it has zero importance to me, so I’m grateful that each year, we have had since 2007 an opportunity to win,” said Hamilton at Monza. “I do believe that I have the chance this year, we’ve still got seven races to go, and that’s still a really big goal for us as a team to get back to the front and be fighting for the lead.

    “I’ve not really thought of [where we can have a chance to win],” he added. “I have no idea where our car’s going to be great. It was a surprise when we got into the car last week and the car felt so much better, like completely different, to the previous weekend. But I’m hoping more often than not it feels like Budapest or the last race, for the rest of the races.

    “I’m not focused on the record, but of course I’m trying to get that win this year. But the record is not that important for me because I don’t really care about records in general,” clarified Hamilton.

    Alonso Hamilton Spa crash.jpg
    Hamilton is set for grid penalties in Italy; his third power unit is being examined after his crash at Spa-Francorchamps

    The seven-time champion was upbeat when asked about his chances of performing at Monza, with Hamilton’s hopes to be dented as he is set to take grid penalties for Sunday’s race having taken a new power unit.

    “[I feel] as good as I can feel,” he said. “Of course, you’d always feel better if you came off a win but still, we’ve been making so much progress as a team, we’ve closed the gap more and more – at least we’re closing the gap more and more – weekend after weekend.

    READ MORE: Hamilton set to take Italian GP grid penalty after power unit change

    “Of course, we don’t know how the car will be this weekend, whether or not it will be as good as it was in the last race, we’ll find out.

    “My third engine that I had, brand new, in Spa, is still being worked on, so I can’t use it right now, so I have to take a fourth. That’s my doing. We’re still hopeful we can use that later on. But I have to recover the best I can from the back,” explained Hamilton, alluding to the damage his power unit sustained after a collision with Fernando Alonso in Belgium.

    Asked whether Mercedes would perform better here than they did at Spa-Francorchamps, Hamilton replied: “It cant be worse than Spa, I don’t think! No, I think it will be a lot better here.”