Lewis Hamilton 'close' to new deal with Mercedes

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Last season they were off the pace in Monaco, with Hamilton failing to make it out of Q2 and finishing seventh after being unable to work enough heat into his tyres.

"Why our auto doesn't like to be quick around the corners in Monaco we haven't found yet".

Monaco will stage the next Grand Prix, and it is a race that always seems to throw up incident and excitement, and Hamilton himself knows the trials and tribulations that come with racing on the Monte Carlo roads.

Hamilton would have been concerned to see Vettel's Ferrari directly behind him, his title rival having passed Bottas at the start.

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In Ferrari's favour, Mercedes has struggled at certain circuits in past years, including Monaco. While it was Ferrari dominating Q1 and Q2, the team bagged pole where it mattered the most which was in Q3. The five against, including Red Bull, feel that it's a bit premature and that more research needs to be done, plus the cost implications with designing a whole new concept isn't ideal, especially when the rules are expected to change again in 2021. The trouble we have now is that with the modern cars carrying so much downforce, Turn 1 isn't a long braking zone and the only decent braking zone into Turn 10 comes after two corners where it's very hard to follow the vehicle in front.

"Hopefully we see some action and we take benefit from that".

Mercedes looked strong all weekend, happier on the amended Pirelli tyres introduced for this weekend due to worries about excessive wear and tyre temperatures.

He added: "The pressure and the passion that I have to win this championship are far greater than I've ever had it". Vettel finished fourth on a frustrating weekend for Ferrari. Despite winning in Spain after one victory in the opening four grands prix previous year, it did not turn out to be the race that kick-started his season.

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"We're absolutely delighted with the way the weekend has gone here in Barcelona", beamed Shovlin.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are not done just yet. We would then have a true qualifying tyre, which forces a short first stint in the race and, therefore, a two-stop strategy. Clearly the Ferrari was eating up its tyres more than the Mercedes, which is why the team felt the need to also do an extra pit stop. "But if they go back, it will be like admitting the mistake", a source said. The team's grid position helped them get a quick getaway from the start, pulling ahead of the Red Bulls and the Ferraris right from the launch.

The F1 paddock are now heading to the principality of Monaco for the next race on the calendar. The drivers scrambled all over the turn hoping not to hit Grosjean but Nico Hulkenburg and Pierre Gasley were collected in the mess.

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