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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton sets clear target for Mercedes after Verstappen's engine penalty

Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on a Mercedes 1-2 at the Russian Grand Prix, in order to make the most of title rival Max Verstappen's engine penalty.

Bottas Hamilton
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton is determined to make the most of Max Verstappen's engine penalty with a Mercedes 1-2 finish at the Russian Grand Prix.

Verstappen, who had already been hit with a three-place grid drop for his clash with Hamilton at Monza, will now be pushed to the very back for Sunday's race after taking on a fourth Honda power unit.

Mercedes topped both of Friday's practice sessions at the Sochi Autodrom, with Hamilton trailing teammate Valtteri Bottas, and his target for the weekend is clear.

"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," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about Verstappen's engine penalty.

"[We need to] try to get the maximum result; a 1-2 would be spectacular for us."

Hamilton added that he feels comfortable about Mercedes' start to the weekend in Russia, but that the team faces some big decisions overnight regarding setup direction, given the heavy rain threat for Saturday's track action.

"Yeah, it seems like we started off on the right foot," he commented.

"As we're always trying to progress, the first run in the first session was the best, and we've been migrating and adjusting since, and it's not been as good as that one. As you start to push more and more, I guess... but [it was] generally a good session, pace-wise.

"We've got some work to do probably on the long run. Then tomorrow [it's] going to being raining a lot, we heard, so it's going to be a big, wet day.

"It will be interesting to see what we do in terms of setup for that [wet weather], knowing that potentially Sunday is dry."

Hamilton trails Verstappen by five points in the championship standings.

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F1 2021 Russian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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