Lewis Hamilton: “The soft runners are going to be busy bees”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton says he is worried about being swarmed by drivers on soft tyres at the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton will star the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from P2, as the only driver on medium tyres, surrounded by other drivers on softs.

As it is expected that soft tyres will provide more pace off the line, Lewis says it could make the opening stages of the race difficult for him.

“The soft runners are going to be busy bees, of course,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

“They will be around me a lot. It’s not as easy starting on the mediums, but we’ll see. I hope it’s the better tyre for the long run. We’ll wait and see.”

Lewis says, considering Max Vestappen is also on softs, he doesn’t expect to be able to beat him at the start.

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“Well, it will be very hard to beat him. It’s not very far down to Turn 1 and he’s on the soft tyres, which usually give you an extra four metres or something like that.

“In an ideal world, we were meant to be on pole and we thought we had the pace, but they were rapid right at the end.”

Asked whether he thinks he’ll be able to benefit from more durable medium tyres in the long run Lewis said:

“Who knows? I really can’t tell you, I really don’t know. I’ll give it everything with what I have.

“I think they are on the softs deliberately and that’s probably to make sure they get the start, which is key. They obviously went for that.

“But I hope what we’ve done is right and I hope we can make it work tomorrow,” concluded the Briton.

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