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Hamilton: I was really hoping to be equal with Red Bull all year

The seven-time world champion says he wanted the early season closeness between Mercedes and Red Bull to continue throughout 2021.

Lewis Hamilton was eager for the performance difference between Mercedes and Red Bull to be equal, as he believes it was in the opening part of the season Hamilton has not won since the Spanish Grand Prix since the beginning of May whilst Red Bull have won the last five five races to lead both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. "The start of this season when the cars were so close in performance, pretty much equal, it was one of the most exciting times I've had for some time to have this battle with Red Bull," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. "I was really hoping it would continue on like that but as you have seen they have taken a huge leap forwards. Hamilton trails Max Verstappen by 32 points after the Austrian Grand Prix where the Red Bull driver made it a hat-trick of F1 wins. The defending champions revealed that his battle with Verstappen has helped rediscover his love for F1 again. "It's important that we take time to evaluate and do what's right for us in terms of help and mental well-being," said Hamilton. "Last year was a long journey, it was a good time to reflect and I found myself waking up thinking about racing. "Now we're having this tight battle it has brought me closer to the team and it is making me dig deeper and I love that. I guess it has been reinvigorating on the love I have for the sport. "The work we have in the background; I've been on the phone, zooms with the FIA, with Formula 1, seeing Stefano come in, knowing what a great guy he is, knowing what the sport can be and I want to be a part of helping the sport evolve, and to be as great as it can be."

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