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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton unsure how Mercedes will fare at Italian GP

The Mercedes driver expects the Italian Grand Prix to be "tough" for Mercedes even though the characteristics of the circuit should suit the W12.

Hamilton Zandvoort Holland
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To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton is unsure how Mercedes will fare at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix as he looks to retake the lead in the Drivers' Championship from Max Verstappen, having lost it in Zandvoort.

It's a circuit which should suit Mercedes more than Red Bull, given that Verstappen has never been on the podium at Monza, whilst Red Bull have never finished in the top three during F1's turbo-hybrid era which began in 2014.

In contrast, Mercedes won five consecutive Italian GPs from 2014 to 2018, with Hamilton standing on the top step at four of those races.

"I really don't know how it's going to go," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"I think they've [Red Bull] definitely improved their car with some sort of upgrade [in Belgium], which we didn't obviously get to see the true pace of it.

"We will be on lower downforce [at Monza], and maybe we can be closer. But it's going to be tough."

The last race Hamilton won when both himself and Verstappen finished was the Spanish GP at the beginning of May.

Hamilton only trails the Dutchman in the championship by three points but has already suggested Mercedes need an upgrade to compete with Red Bull for the title.

"We've given absolutely everything," said Hamilton. "Even since the first race, these guys [Red Bull] have just had such a strong car all year and we're trying as hard as we can.

"We had a couple of races where it looked like we were on par with them, or just slightly ahead, but there's only been a couple of those.

"Then they took a big leap and it's been difficult. I guess it's so close, that you can't really overtake in a lot of these places that we've been to previously, because we are so closely matched.

"But there's nothing really more I can say, we just have to keep our heads down and keep working, keep pushing.

"We are ahead in the team championship which is great. But, of course, we need to pick up some speed, if we want to be able to win races in the future."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Can Mercedes stop Verstappen hat-trick after Dutch dreams come true at Zandvoort?

It's time for the latest episode of our new Formula 1 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour chatting about Max Verstappen's dream weekend at home in Zandvoort!

F1 2021 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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