Daily Briefing

F1: Mercedes are the strongest team in history, says Lewis Hamilton

Ferrari admit SF90 issues and the Dutch GP will be confirmed for 2020

2019 Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix result
  • 1st. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 26 points 
  • 2nd. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 18pts 
  • 3rd. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) 15pts 
  • 4th. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 12pts 
  • 5th. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 10pts

After Mercedes recorded their fifth successive 1-2 in the 2019 season Lewis Hamilton praised the team for being the “strongest there has even been” in F1.   

Hamilton won Sunday’s F1 Spanish GP ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes continued their dominating start to the campaign.

The third win of the year for world champion Hamilton also moves him seven points clear of Bottas in the drivers’ championship. In the constructors’ championship Mercedes now have a 96-point lead over Ferrari after five races.

The BBC asks could Mercedes be F1’s very first invincibles by winning every race in a season? Hamilton replied: “Who knows? We definitely didn’t expect to come into the season and win all five races and that is already incredibly encouraging for everyone.

“Everyone is pushing so hard which is great to see and it really is a phenomenal group. No one is overly confident. We are discussing what we can do better.

“It is the strongest team there has ever been, I think. It will be very, very hard to break that.”

Setting the bar high

Despite their lead in both championships and the fifth 1-2 in a row Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the Silver Arrows will continue to work hard ahead of the next grand prix in Monaco on 26 May.

“We are trying to push the benchmark every single year and seeing this all come together after the struggles we had in winter testing is fantastic for the team,” said Wolff. “We know the next race will be a tremendous challenge for us. We need to take this season one step at a time and everybody is working flat-out ahead of Monaco.”

Ferrari have trouble with the SF90

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admits that the SF90 car could have a flaw in its overall design concept, Formula1.com reports.

At the Spanish GP Sebastian Vettel finished fourth while team-mate Charles Leclerc was fifth in another disappointing weekend for the Italians.

Binotto said: “We’re losing a lot in each single corner. Quite a lot of understeer. It’s something which we really need to analyse. Any early conclusion today would be the wrong conclusion.

“It will take some days to have a proper conclusion. [It could be] a matter of balance, a matter of downforce – maybe even car concept. I think we do not have [the] answer.”

Williams going in the right direction

Williams Racing continue to struggle at the back of the grid but driver George Russell believes that the team are turning a corner.

The 21-year-old finished 17th and team-mate Robert Kubica was 18th at the Spanish GP, a race described as “intriguing” by the British driver.

Russell said: “It was a standard grand prix for us. Our race pace was probably slower than the qualifying pace, so that is something for us to look at.

“It has been an intriguing weekend for us. We have brought some test items and got some decent information from those. I think we are going in the right direction.”

Dutch GP to be confirmed for 2020

The Dutch Grand Prix will return to the F1 calendar after 35 years. Confirmation is expected on Tuesday, but dates for the 2020 race at Zandvoort are likely to be 8-10 May. The BBC says the Dutch GP will “effectively” replace the Spanish GP on the F1 schedule.

F1 news headlines

What the media is writing about in the world of Formula 1:

  • Hamilton: I want more title rivals (Sky Sports
  • Was Bottas actually faster than Hamilton in Spain? (BBC Chequered Flag Podcast
  • Haas hold ‘clear-the-air’ driver talks (Planet F1
  • Horner: ‘Verstappen has been phenomenal’ (Planet F1
  • Vettel tells Dutch TV: ‘F*** you! Klootzak!’ (GP Fans
  • Is Spanish GP the death knell of F1? (GP Fans)

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