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'I think we stand a better chance in Spain' - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
May 9, 2013 « Upgrades unlikely to change pecking order - Vettel | McLaren must show improvement - Button »
Lewis Hamilton: "We don't have as bad a degradation as some people think" © Sutton Images
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Lewis Hamilton is confident Mercedes will be in better shape at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend after understanding some of the reasons for the car's lack of race pace earlier in the season.

Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg have taken pole position at the last two races but have struggled to match the pace of the fastest cars in the race. One of the main issues has been rear-tyre degradation, but Hamilton is confident the Mercedes will be better suited to the Circuit de Catalunya.

"I definitely think this is going to be a little bit different," he said. "Bahrain was very much rear-limited [degradation], but on my side of the garage it was quite positive, certainly in the second half of the race so I'm excited about the things we learnt in the race and hopefully we can bring them here.

"Here it's more of a balance between front and rear degradation, so front left and the rear tyres will be the interesting ones. Here we have a new harder tyre which will hopefully play into our hands a little bit more. Everyone is in the same boat, but with the temperatures also I think we stand a better chance."

He said the balance of his car had improved in Bahrain in the second half of the race when the temperatures were slightly lower and his fuel load had come down.

"You are always trying to minimise the amount of sliding you do and the amount of temperature you are putting into the tyres from wheel spinning and so on," he added. "I did exactly the same thing in the first half of the race to the second half it's just that the balance improved, but the positive from the weekend is that the tyres can last and we don't have as bad a degradation as some people think."

Asked about Mercedes upgrades this weekend, Hamilton said: "We have an upgrade package just like everybody else has an upgrade package here, but this team does things a little bit different to what I had in the past. We used to not do much for the first four races and then came with a big package for the European races, whereas at this team we are just trying to bring upgrades for every race. So we don't come here with the biggest package possible but coming here with some improvements that will hopefully still help is this weekend."

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