Hamilton: Why Monza will be happy weekend for Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton cast a downbeat forecast for the Italian Grand Prix, predicting that Ferrari will hold too much pace for Mercedes to challenge at Monza.
Hamilton upset the home crowd a year ago, pipping Kimi Raikkonen late on to take victory after Sebastian Vettel had spun out of contention on lap one.
Ferrari, and especially Charles Leclerc, were dominant in Belgium this past weekend as the Monegasque took his maiden race win in Formula 1 after taking pole position by seven tenths of a second, despite Hamilton's late charge in the race.
But the world champion does not think that it will be possible to make inroads on Ferrari's straight-line advantage at the 'Temple of Speed'.
"It's all straights, so Ferrari… it's going to be a happy weekend for Ferrari, most likely in that respect," he said.
"I mean, this weekend, I think just in qualifying we're losing over a second a lap. So, there's not much me and Valtteri can do in that instance and there's not a lot of corners there to catch that up.
"So, it'll be interesting. In the next few days we've got to make some drastic improvements to our straight speed, somehow. I don't know if that's possible.
"But if anyone can do it, it's our team. So, we'll do our best – but position is also everything.
"We've got slightly better degradation than them, so maybe… and it's a longer race, isn't it, so hopefully we can have another close race like we've had this weekend."
Although Valtteri Bottas also expects the Ferrari pair to be mighty, he hopes to spoil the home party once again.
"I think they're going to be quick there – but last year they were quick as well but we managed to make their life pretty difficult. I think that's where we got booed on the podium and everything. We'll try to do the same again."
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