Lewis Hamilton pulling out all the stops as Mercedes star plans Max Verstappen overhaul

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Lewis Hamilton is he’s pulling out all the stops ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix to try and overhaul Max Verstappen and Red Bull in the championship battle, and is even heading back on the simulator, something he admitts he doesnt “necessarily enjoy”.

Verstappen now leads the standings by 18 points heading into round nine in Austria, with Red Bull pulling out a 40-point lead over Mercedes in the team standings thanks to victory at the Styrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton meanwhile came home in second place and urged his Mercedes team to bring some new upgrades to the next race, also taking place at the Red Bull Ring.

The seven-time world champion took to social media to post a picture on the race simulator, something he’s previously revealed was a ‘pointless exercise’ in his eyes.

When asked by Express Sport if the simulator work was helping, the 36-year-old replied: “I can’t say that I necessarily enjoy it.

“I think just, particularly after those last few difficult races we had, I just went in to try and see if there was any way I could help the team, just be better prepared.

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“I think there’s been a couple of good things from it, but not life-changing, so I’ll continue to work with Anthony [Davidson], and we’ve still got drivers on there that do a lot of work, I think just working on the processes of how we communicate with them and their programme, so we’re getting the right things tested.

“I think overall it’s been positive.”

Coming into the race, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said there would be no more upgrades this season on the W12.

However, according to Mercedes’ soon-to-be chief technical officer James Allison, that’s not quite the case.

“We have a reasonable number of things that are going to make our car faster in the coming races,” Allison told the F1 Nation Podcast. “Let’s hope they prove sufficient.”

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Asked whether his comments were at odds with Wolff’s comments, Allison replied: “I don’t think those two things are at odds with each other. I don’t think Toto has said precisely that.

“What Toto points out is that next year’s rules are a big and hairy affair and they demand a huge amount of our attention, so most of the focus of our factory has switched over to the performance discovery for next year, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things still in the food chain from prior to that focus switch.

“Furthermore it isn’t all of the factory,” adds Allison, “and furthermore, we [Brackley] are only one of two factories, there’s also the PU factory [at Brixworth] and there is a little bit more to come from the PU. So there’s some more aerodynamic change in the offing, a little bit of PU, we hope, on the delivery side and just a few things that are not quite as tidy as we would wish that we still have an opportunity to put right while this season is still very much alive and hot.”

Meanwhile, Hamilton added: “I knew that we had that upgrade coming, but at the end of the day the guys are working, everyone is working absolutely flat out.

“We’re learning more and more about this car, we’re discovering where we need to push more and extract more, and I have all the confidence in the team that we will do over the course of time.”

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