Published: Wed, May 16, 2018

Hamilton wants to win title with 'perfect' weekends

Hamilton wants to win title with 'perfect' weekends

Lewis Hamilton says he is "nearly in the groove" after claiming a second successive Formula One win at the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.

Despite their lack of pace in Spain, where not only were they not able to extract the same speed from their tyres as Mercedes but were also unable to coax them to last as long as the silver cars, the Italian team have had the most versatile auto so far this season. The bad news for Ferrari is that the current Pirelli tyre (which has a reduced tread by 0.4mm) will be used for the races in France and Great Britain as well. It's another learning curve for the teams, so the question is: did this help Mercedes, and why?

After three races in which driver and the team have struggled to unlock performance from tyres and vehicle, Mercedes finally had the platform required at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"We do after the five races now have a much, much better understanding of the auto, of what we need to do to get the vehicle to be working - but we still have learning to do, improvements to be made". Despite all the talk of updates, as usual the ultimate performance seems to come down to who can get the tricky Pirelli tyres to work best for them. "But if they go back, it will be like admitting the mistake", a source said. I felt that synergy which I hadn't been feeling for the whole year. And they heat the tyres up in the blanket. That's why everyone struggles.

In Spain on Sunday he followed race victor Hamilton in the team's first one-two finish of the campaign, albeit 22 seconds adrift on very worn tyres after a massive 47-lap stint on a single set. Ten laps after the Ferraris had pitted, Hamilton ducked into the pits with nearly 20 seconds to spare ahead of the next vehicle. "We wanted to take care of the racing car.The ink is nearly dry, and when it is, we'll let you know", Wolff said. Ferrari brought in Vettel for a tyre change.

'I'm bloody anxious, ' Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.

All weekend, the difference in lap time between the tyre compounds was very small. Unfortunately for him, it was a little too much as he spun out, masking the turn, and the field, in a cloud of tire smoke. Such decisions have been taken in the past (with the FIA in the loop) in 2011 and 2012 to counter the impact of new asphalt at a particular circuit. This was coupled with the low degradation nature of the Circuit de Catalunya.

With the exception of the seasonopening Melbourne race, the 33-year-old had so far this season appeared ill at ease in his Mercedes, fighting to impose his will on a capricious vehicle. There are arguments for both sides, of course, but in principle we would all like to see more overtaking.

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