Lewis Hamilton Relishing ‘More Competition’ After Strong Ferrari Showing in Monaco Free Practice

Published 05/21/2021, 5:02 PM EDT
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 leads Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)


Lewis Hamilton may have arrived at the Circuit de Monaco thinking it was a straight fight between Mercedes and Red Bull, but it now looks like Ferrari are threatening to spoil the party. The Italian outfit grabbed eyeballs on Thursday with its impressive pace in both the practice sessions. And Hamilton is also staying vary of them.

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After Sainz went second fastest during the FP1, Charles Leclerc lead a Ferrari 1-2 during the FP2. His 1m11.684s time was just a tenth quicker than his Spanish teammate. On the other hand, Hamilton was three-tenths off the pace on Sainz.

Although he wasn’t particularly downbeat by his own showing during the practice sessions, he acknowledged the pleasant surprise he received from a team, which is bidding to get back to the top of F1 –

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“I think the Ferraris are really strong, surprising to see them improve so much, but that’s great. It means more competition.”

On if their pace was genuine or down to them turning down their cars in practice, he added, “I’m seeing what you’re seeing. I’m generally just focused on my job. It looks like it. We’ll see,” said Hamilton on Thursday after practice.”

Lewis Hamilton predicts a close qualifying battle

Hamilton has previously declared Red Bull as the overwhelming favorites for this Grand Prix. But he isn’t giving up; he was happy with the overall balance of his W12 on Thursday. And even went as far as to say that he expects a close battle on Saturday as opposed to declaring Red Bull as the outright favorites.

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“I think the car is good, we’ve made some decent steps with the balance of the car. I’m generally really happy. I’ve got some changes I’ll probably make this evening as we analyze today. It’s going to be close [in qualifying],” he predicted.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The Briton leads his championship rival, Max Verstappen, by 14 points in the table. It’s a slim chance that he will extend his lead this weekend, but what we do know about him is that he won’t give up even if there is the slightest possibility of coming out on top.

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Bharat Aggarwal

754 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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