Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lewis keen to return to winning ways in Bahrain



Lewis keen to return to winning ways in Bahrain

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the Australian Grand Prix on the podium beside second-placed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne on March 25. AFP
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning the Australian Grand Prix on the podium beside second-placed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne on March 25. AFP

Lewis keen to return to winning ways in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton expects to face another fast and furious scrap with Sebastian Vettel this weekend as the pair head to the desert for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, which is set for a 10:10pm start Cambodian time.

Two weeks after the combination of a virtual safety car intervention and a software bug deprived him of victory for Mercedes at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the defending four-time world champion is keen to make amends.

Vettel, who has also won the title four times, triumphed in Melbourne for Ferrari to take an early lead in the drivers’ championship and leave Hamilton cursing his luck.

The 33-year-old Briton found himself in a similar position last year when he had to overcome an early-season deficit and win the title.

“We can win this next race,” he said. “We still have a great car, we are the world champions and with a couple of adjustments we can win.

“We always knew it would be close this year. There will be ups and downs. Ferrari were really quick on the straight in Melbourne and they will be rapid again, I can tell you.”

A victory for Hamilton, who has a career total of 62 wins from his 209 races, would not only boost his bid for a fifth title but would also extend his points-scoring run to a record-equalling 27 consecutive races, set by Finn Kimi Raikkonen, then of Lotus, in 2013.

Hamilton’s last non-scoring race came at the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel will go into his 200th race full of confidence following his Albert Park win and victory in Bahrain last year when he ended a Mercedes streak of three wins, two by Hamilton.

Ricciardo a threat

On a demanding track that has four long straights, Ferrari may have a power advantage, but both of the leading teams will be aware of the threat from Red Bull, whose Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest lap in Melbourne on his way to third.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff expects his team to bounce back after identifying that “an offline tool” used for delta lap times had caused an error in their calculations in Australia and handed victory to Ferrari.

“We made mistakes and did not perform to our maximum – and it reminded us that this is the toughest racing series in the world, where every error is punished,” said Wolff.

“It hurt to leave all those points on the table, especially because we know we had the pace to win in Australia.

“Back at base, we did what we always do after a tough weekend – we made sure that we understand what went wrong and put a process in place to make sure that we don’t see a similar issue in the future.

“These painful moments are the real learning experiences. Mistakes become training.”

Noises off the track

Behind the top three teams, Fernando Alonso and a resurgent McLaren have stated their intent on challenging Red Bull and overcoming surprise package Haas, whose Ferrari-engined car shone in Melbourne before both drivers retired.

Alonso is a three-time winner in Bahrain, like Vettel, and hopes his car’s new Renault power unit can carry him into contention for a strong finish in the points.

As the action echoes on the track, there are also likely to be noises off it when new American owners Liberty Media, together with the international motorsport ruling body, the FIA, reveal their blueprint for the future of F1 post-2020.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the