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Hamilton will not see 30-point advantage as "breathing space" - Mercedes

Hamilton will not see 30-point advantage as "breathing space" - Mercedes



Hamilton will not see 30-point advantage as "breathing space" - Mercedes

Hamilton will not see 30-point advantage as "breathing space" - Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton will not get complacent despite having a 30-point lead over team-mate Valtteri Bottas after just four races.

That is the verdict of Mercedes chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin following Hamilton's run of three successive victories to open up a sizeable gap over Bottas in his bid to win a seventh world title and equal the record held by Michael Schumacher.

The reigning champion extended his lead by 25 points on Sunday after claiming victory on three wheels in the British Grand Prix, while Bottas dropped out of the top 10 from second with his puncture, which he suffered two laps before Hamilton.

Despite the cushion, Shovlin is certain Hamilton will not let his guard down.

"I know how Lewis will be approaching this but he won’t consider this breathing space," Shovlin said.

"It’s still very early days in the championship. But they [Hamilton and Bottas] obviously both see each other as key rivals at the moment.

"There wasn’t a lot between them on Sunday, and certainly the bad luck fell Valtteri’s way.

"The race tells you anything can happen, it’s also early in the year with new cars. There will be reliability issues that we find over the next few races that are lurking in there."

Given the front-left tyre issues in the final laps of the race at Silverstone, and with compounds softer for Sunday's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at the circuit, Shovlin knows the strategy will need an adjustment, claiming it would be "quite brave" for anyone to attempt another one-stop race.

With temperatures also due to rise over the weekend, Mercedes' advantage may be undermined as the team has struggled in hotter conditions in recent years.

"Strategy aside, getting the cars around a lap in qualifying without dropping off will be another significant challenge," Shovlin continued.

"We’ve not excelled in hot conditions. We’re pretty strong when the track’s at about 40 degrees.

"The couple of instances we’ve seen where it’s at 50 in free practice, it seems that our margins do get eroded. We need to make sure our nose is still ahead of Red Bull."

Before you go...

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Renault has "potential" if it can improve in high-speed corners - Ricciardo


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