Lewis Hamilton: “You’d have to say this is a Red Bull track”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton gives his opinion on Mercedes’ chances at the Mexican Grand Prix, on “a Red Bull track”.  He also says he believes he will not need another engine swap this season.

In recent years Red Bull has been very successful at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, leading to it being labelled “a Red Bull track”.

At the Mexican Grand Prix Thursday press conference Lewis Hamilton was asked if he believes this to be true.

“[In 2019] they were quite a bit quicker than us, so you’d have to say this is a Red Bull track,” the Briton said.

“But we have had success here in the past. We did win here last time, but that was only because Max made a mistake and got a penalty.

“Otherwise they were much quicker than us. So we expect that will be very similar this weekend.”

However, this season it has been hard to predict which team will perform well on which track.

“We thought that we would be stronger, for example, in somewhere like Austin – they were quite a bit stronger than us there in the race. So I really can’t predict it.

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“What I do know is that last year [2019] they outqualified us here and they were down on power compared to us through the year.

“Now they are ahead on power, there or thereabouts, and they’ve got a very strong car that’s been affected less by the changes in the rules that we were affected by.

“So they are going to be rapid this weekend, last year [2019] they were almost half a second ahead of us, and our car is not better than last year’s car with those changes.

“It’ll be interesting to see how we fare with them this weekend.”

Whatever happens, Lewis says Mercedes will “leave no stone unturned” to claim the 2021 title.

“It’s definitely exciting. The fact is we haven’t brought an upgrade for a long time, since Silverstone obviously.

“We know that they were bringing upgrades well past that and they generally have a little bit of extra performance on the rear end of their car.

“It seems like in the hotter places they seem to be doing a little bit better than us and this is just been a track they’ve been very, very strong at.

“Like Budapest for example, where they’ve been strong in the past too. It doesn’t mean that we can’t be strong this weekend.

“We will find out when we get out there, but of course, it means we have to extract absolutely everything and pushing absolutely to the limit, trying to leave no stone unturned, no performance on the table which can happen.

“We’re just trying to make sure that we cover every area possible.”

In recent races Mercedes has been plagued by engine issues, which forced them to swap several of their engines, and take several grid penalties in the process.

Hamilton says he believes his fourth unit should last until the end of the season.

“I believe our engines are strong and as far as I’m aware we’re hopefully going to the end,” concluded the seven-time champion.

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