Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Red Bull are wary of Lewis Hamilton who they described as having a ‘rocket engine.’ The defending F1 champion took a five-place grid penalty after taking on a new engine at the Brazilian GP this past weekend, which he went on to win in stunning fashion.
Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko believes Hamilton’s car will be the deciding factor in what has been an enthralling title race.
As reported by Auto Motor und Sport, Marko said: “There were not two rockets, but one. Only the Hamilton (car) has such an unbelievable surplus on the straights.
“Despite the lead, I see us at a disadvantage if Hamilton maintains this engine advantage.”
The Austrian is stunned by the performance of Mercedes’ new power unit, and team principal Christan Horner stated Red Bull would protest their rivals’ superior speed as a result.
“We haven’t seen an engine like that from Mercedes in recent years, as far as I can remember,” Marko added. “Unbelievable.
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“And it’s only Hamilton’s power unit. All the others (Mercedes powered cars) are within the normal range.
“Mercedes have done a masterpiece to conjure up such a rocket at this crucial stage. Hamilton won it on the straights.”
Hamilton had a rough ride in Sao Paulo, which he started strongly by qualifying fastest ahead of the Sprint qualifying race, in front of an ecstatic crowd.
But things quickly changed as an FIA document revealed Hamilton had been summoned to the stewards regarding the rear wing on the Mercedes.
It all came after Red Bull lodged a complaint to the FIA about the rear on the Mercedes, with the FIA then impounding Hamilton’s wing overnight regarding his drag reduction system (DRS).
The rear wing was found to have breached F1’s technical regulations and was deemed illegal and Hamilton was thrown out of qualifying.
Starting the sprint from P20, Hamilton carved his way through 15 cars in 24 laps, qualifying P5 for Sunday’s event, but due to a new engine being placed in his car, he was handed a five-place grid penalty, meaning he began the race in 10th.
But Hamilton showed his class and expertly stormed through the field before blitzing past arch rival and race leader Max Verstappen on lap 59 to win a pulsating race.
Hamilton’s epic win saw him close the gap to his rival at the top of the drivers’ standings to just 14 points with just three races to go in the season.
The F1 title battle between Hamilton and Verstappen will reach a climax next month, with the next instalment of their rivalry coming in Qatar this weekend.
This is the first time the circuit will host a race in the Middle East and it marks the final race in what has been an epic F1 triple header.
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