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Hamilton ready to climb ‘steep mountain’ after setbacks

13 May 2016

Going into this weekend’s Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Pirelli 2016, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton is quietly preparing himself for the battle ahead as he seeks to claw back the 43 points he’s lost to Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in the opening four races.

Absolutely key will be whether the Brackley team have got to the bottom of the MGU-H problems which stymied his attempts to graduate to Q3 in both the Chinese and Russian Grands Prix, and he admits he will be hyper-alert to technical issues throughout the weekend and keen to hit the reset button.

“That’s the hope, of course! Who knows? We’ll wait and see.

“The situation is what it is, so there’s no point in being concerned. I’ve just got to work hard to move forward. I have fewer engines than Nico, fewer than probably a few of the drivers, so I’ve just got to do what I can with what I have and for sure, it’s a steep mountain to climb. But I love a challenge, so I’m kind of excited about it.”

There are some who believe that he is less motivated after equalling his idol Ayrton Senna’s three titles, but that is to ignore his recent mechanical troubles that have been well beyond his control. And he was quick to deny that he wants to go back to the mechanics who worked on his cars last year as he pinpointed the source of his problems.

“I have no intention or any wish to move anyone around, there’s nothing to do. The issues we’ve had have had nothing to do with the mechanics. They’ve been doing a fantastic job both for Nico and me over the last three and a half years. That is not a concern. I’ve got a hundred percent belief in this team and in those guys.

“This is really just hoping that I’ve had a bad share of luck, I guess, with the failures, and that we will move forward and you will get to see the results of their hard work, because they have worked so hard to integrate with me and vice versa on my side of the garage and we have a huge amount of respect for each other. I’m looking forward to trying to deliver something spectacular for them.”

Hamilton remains conscious that Rosberg is not his only threat and said that the belief within Mercedes is that Ferrari are strong despite their failure to win any of the first four races, confirming boss Sergio Marchionne’s recent statement that the Scuderia will start doing just that from this weekend.

“I think Ferrari are constantly improving their car,” Hamilton added. “I think this weekend they’re obviously going to have some upgrades, as you would expect for Barcelona. I think they’ve been very, very close up until now. They’re going to continue to strive. They want to win; they’re very, very hungry – as are we.

“I think we do have the power as a team to continue to develop, hopefully at a similar rate as they are. So, of course we can always try to keep them at arms’ length, but who knows how it’s going to go?”

Hamilton goes into the Barcelona weekend second in the driver standings, on 57 points to Rosberg's 100.