Lewis Hamilton suspects Mercedes are likely to find it”difficult to beat” rejuvenated Ferrari in F1’s upcoming races – but has endorsed the world champions to rise into the renewed challenge.
On a course, against all expectations in Singapore that demands high downforce – a 2019 Ferrari weakness – the Scuderia completed second and first in Sunday’s race to expand their winning streak – their order for 11 years.
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As a result, Mercedes have now suffered three successive defeats for just the second time in the last six seasons.
And together with Ferrari now apparently having discovered a breakthrough with their car on paths that do not simply require horsepower – that the SF90 strength – Hamilton is anticipating a consistent fight.
“I’m a realist, therefore I see the situation we are in and they have only come up with some kind of upgrade that’s possibly put their automobile… perhaps they have had a fantastic car all year and it simply was not working in the ideal window,” said Hamilton on Sunday night.
“Who knows, since it’s unlikely they’ve brought a massive, massive update that’s brought 20-30 things [of [ downforce] to something that performance-wise is probably what you’d expect they’ve taken here.
“But obviously their automobile works well everywhere today so it’s going to be very hard to beat them, especially as they are so quick on the straights. We can not compete together on the straights at the moment.”
Mercedes must’pull up our socks’
Despite the winning run of Ferrari, Hamilton and Mercedes’ winning form before the August summer break means they stay firmly on track to defend their world names.
Hamilton extended his name contribute into 65 points over team-mate Valtteri Bottas, while Ferrari’s guide writer, Leclerc, will be 96 points adrift with 156 points to play for over the last six races.
“We’ve won previously with not the best automobile but it’s really how we deliver the weekend.
“At this time they are delivering better from the operations area. Today I did enough at the race to emerge and direct but the entire processes did not do the job as well as it should do. So we’ve only got to re-huddle, return with them, work and proceed forward”
The world champion added:”Obviously it has got tighter and tighter as the year has gone on, we work on this, but in exactly the identical time we’ve only got to do a better job.
“We’re doing such a wonderful job at the start of the year plus we have this difference, but the gap could certainly go. I’m under no illusions – it is not won.
“We have got to pull up our socks. Collectively we can do. But we lose and win as a group and we all do not feel good at this time.”
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