Hamilton: Mercedes must capitalise on Verstappen's Russia F1 penalty

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes must capitalise on the opportunity it has to grab a 1-2 finish in Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix with Max Verstappen taking an engine penalty.

Hamilton: Mercedes must capitalise on Verstappen's Russia F1 penalty

Verstappen will start the Sochi race from the back of the grid alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after Red Bull elected to take a fresh Honda power unit.

With the Dutchman wary about the possibilities to make up a lot of ground in the grand prix, Hamilton and Mercedes know they have a chance to score some valuable points against their rival in the title battle.

And while Hamilton says his team’s approach to the job at hand does not change because of Verstappen’s situation, he is equally sure that his outfit must not squander the chance it has to nail home its advantage.

Asked about the impact of Verstappen’s penalty, Hamilton said: “It doesn't really change anything for us. We have just got to do our thing and focus on performance.

“It's a tough year I think for everyone with reliability, so it's definitely a shame for him.

"But we've got to try and capitalise on that naturally, and try to get the maximum result. A 1-2 would be spectacular for us.”

While Hamilton was outpaced by team-mate Valtteri Bottas in both practice sessions on Friday as Mercedes led the way, he revealed that the pair had been running with different setups in a bid to work out which was the best way to go.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“Me and Valtteri are quite different on setup, and have deliberately gone in different ways to try and see which is best,” he explained.

“So tonight we'll probably try and understand and study those and figure out how we come back to the right path. But it seems like we started off on the right foot.”

Read Also:

Bottas said he felt fully on top of his car from the first run in practice, and believed only minors tweaks were now needed to improve things ahead of qualifying and the race.

“You could always go better, but if I look at the timings and based on the feeling, it was a good day from the first run,” he said.

“I had a good confidence with the car and the balance was actually very good, so all we had to do were minor adjustments during the day.

"I really could focus on the driving and finding small gains here and there, but on both short and long runs I was really, really comfortable.”

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen braced for ‘more difficult’ Sochi F1 fightback than 2018
Previous article

Verstappen braced for ‘more difficult’ Sochi F1 fightback than 2018

Next article

Why F1's title contenders have diverged on taking engine penalties

Why F1's title contenders have diverged on taking engine penalties
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022