herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Lewis Hamilton will be taking the threat of Ferrari seriously in Austria - but insists he will let his Mercedes team sweat over the gap.

Lewis Hamilton will be taking the threat of Ferrari seriously in Austria - but insists he will let his Mercedes team sweat over the gap.

Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheet in his Ferrari after second practice at the Red Bull Ring yesterday, with Hamilton down in fifth after running wide during his first run on fresh supersoft tyres and ended up over half a second adrift.

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate and main title rival Nico Rosberg had the beating of the Briton over both sessions - finishing fastest in the morning before being pipped by fellow German Vettel later in the day.

With the sister Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen a competitive third in both sessions there is a viable threat to Mercedes' dominance, but Hamilton will not be worrying about it.

"We always take it very seriously," he said when asked about the threat of Ferrari. "The team are probably more focused on it than I am. Strategies are not my job, I just go and drive and drive the socks off the car.

"Today I was pushing and just learning along the way. If you don't make any mistakes then you're not trying.

"I don't know how our pace is compared to others, but the Ferraris looked quite quick. I think it's a bit closer here this weekend. It should be good tomorrow.

"The car has been great and it's just that the track doesn't have a lot of grip. We improved the car for sure. The tyres were pretty much the same."

Rosberg was also impressed by the pace in the Ferrari but believes the short lap around the circuit in Spielberg has the effect of bunching up the field.

"On this track everybody's always a bit closer and they seemed quick today," he said.

"They (Ferrari) were good in qualifying and on the long run they were even closer, but in general everyone's closer here."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News