In Brief

F1 digest: Lewis Hamilton has doubts over title chances

Reigning Formula 1 world champion is hoping to improve in ‘lots of areas’

Lewis Hamilton may be top of the Formula 1 drivers’ standings but the Mercedes ace is uncertain of retaining his world title.

Thanks to his victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton has a four-point advantage over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The win in Baku is his first of the season after finishing second in Australia, third in Bahrain and fourth in China.

Despite his small lead, the British driver believes that Ferrari and Vettel (who won the two opening races) are still the title favourites for 2018.

Hamilton told Sky Sports: “Obviously being in the lead of the championship is great but if we continue on the trajectory we’re on, it would need tricky races like this to keep us in the fight. Referring to “the two weird races” that had kept them “in the mix”, Hamilton said: “You can’t rely on those for the next 17 that are left.”

He added: “We need ultimate performance and confidence in the car and I’ve got the pace within me, and I think the car’s got the pace within it, but both of them are not being intertwined in perfect synergy to extract the perfect equation.

“We’ve definitely got to improve in lots of areas, and I mean myself as well.”

Verstappen: everything is fine with Ricciardo

Max Verstappen says he and Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo are “fine” despite the duo crashing out of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix following their collision in Baku.

Autosport reports that Verstappen has spoken to Ricciardo about the incident and the team needs to “stay positive” ahead of the next race in Spain on 13 May. 

Speaking to Red Bull’s Servus TV channel, Verstappen said: “Obviously we talked about it. Daniel and I are completely OK with each other. We can both see that what happened isn’t good for the team.

“We’d already had some tough battles, but everything was fine... Now we’ll obviously need to go to the team in Milton Keynes and apologise. But then we need to stay positive, because I think we have a really good chance coming in Barcelona. We’ve got a lot of updates on the car.”

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