Motorsport

Can Hamilton make landmark race memorable

Geared up: Lewis Hamilton feels he can ‘still kick it’ with the new generation of younger tyros.

Geared up: Lewis Hamilton feels he can ‘still kick it’ with the new generation of younger tyros.   | Photo Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA

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Champion’s 250th F1 race will be indication of what the future holds

Lewis Hamilton heads into this weekend's season-ending floodlit Abu Dhabi Grand Prix seeking to mark his 250th Formula One race with a memorable performance as Mercedes bid to bounce back from an off-form outing in Brazil.

The six-time World champion, whose future beyond 2020 when his current contract expires has been a subject of intensifying speculation, has conceded that he faces a battle with his advancing age next season against the sport's new generation of younger tyros.

“I feel like I'm still able to kick it with these guys right now and so I am excited about the future,” said 34-year-old Hamilton. “But you know it's inevitable that the youngsters are going to come through.”

Speaking after he finished third on the road in Sao Paulo, before being penalised and dropped to seventh for a late clash with Red Bull's Alex Albon, Hamilton made it clear that he still relishes on-track battles and hopes next season will see a multi-team multi-driver scrap for glory.

Hamilton won from pole position last year and has enjoyed four pole starts at the track and four victories, but may not have it all his own way in this weekend's twilight contest scheduled to maximise global viewing potential.

Mercedes has won the last five Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, but knows that both Ferrari and Red Bull will mount a fierce challenge in the season finale, which starts in sunshine and finishes under floodlights.

Hamilton will hope, in particular, to add to his record 87 pole positions after struggling in qualifying, relatively, since taking pole at the German event in July, his fourth this season — a meagre return by his standards.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 9:19:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/motorsport/can-hamilton-make-landmark-race-memorable/article30109382.ece

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