Lewis Hamilton prepared for 'painful week' after losing championship lead to Sebastian Vettel

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Disappointed: Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton is braced for a painful week after he lost his championship lead to Sebastian Vettel in Canada on Sunday.

Hamilton now trails Vettel by one point after the dominant Ferrari driver marched to victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Hamilton could finish only fifth as he was left to rue Mercedes’ failure to bring a planned engine upgrade to Montreal.

The Briton reported he was down on power in the opening exchanges, and had to pit earlier than planned as his Mercedes team made changes to his overheating machinery.

Hamilton was overtaken by Daniel Ricciardo during the pit stops, and feared his seven-race-old engine would not make it the chequered flag.

“I thought it was going to blow,” Hamilton said.

“That’s why if I’m really honest, I’m sure the next couple of days it will get more painful.

“Every single lap I was waiting for the power to just drop away and disappear – but it kept going.

“It was ultimately a poor weekend for me, but it could have been a lot worse. I could have failed to finish and lose 25 points to Vettel.”

Mercedes have dominated the sport since 2014, but the fiercer competition provided by both Ferrari and Red Bull this year has led to a series of errors by the once-dominant team.

A timing glitch during a virtual safety car period cost Hamilton the win in Australia before a gearbox issue resulted in a grid drop for the Briton at the next round in Bahrain.

Mercedes can also be accused of playing it safe when they did not bring Hamilton in for new tyres following a late safety car in China.

And here, their failure to provide Hamilton with a fresh engine has contributed to him losing the championship lead.

“This is a major wake-up call for every single member of the team,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added on Sunday night.

“I’m the opposite of confident moving forward. Everybody needs to assess how to improve our performance.

“This year’s championship is going to be decided by the one who makes the least mistakes. This is the new reality.

“It is a three-way team fight and six cars can win races. We cannot take anything for granted and think it is going to be a walk in the park.”

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Lewis Hamilton calls for changes at Monaco GP, labels it "most boring race" of career

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Lewis Hamilton has called on Monaco’s organisers to ring the changes after lamenting Sunday’s processional affair as the “most boring race” of his career.

Daniel Ricciardo nursed his wounded Red Bull home, while Sebastian Vettel moved to within 14 points of Hamilton after finishing one place ahead of his rival in second.

Ricciardo was down on power for much of the race after engine gremlins struck with 50 laps still remaining. But the Australian never came under threat at a circuit where overtaking is, and always has been, virtually impossible.

Indeed the top six crossed the line in the order they qualified.

“Thank God that’s over,” Hamilton said on the Mercedes‘ radio at the conclusion of the Grand Prix. “That was the most boring race I’ve ever participated in.”

The Brit, 33, later said: “We were just cruising around from lap six, literally cruising, so it wasn’t really racing.

“Monaco has got the biggest build-up and it is the most special race of the year, but Formula One needs to apply a different schedule here.

Lewis Hamilton 1

“From a racing driver’s point of view, we were never pushing. It was insane how little I was pushing. I was 10 seconds behind, but I was conflicted because in my heart I wanted to win this race, but the team just asked me to bring the car home.”

Hamilton added: “What can we do to make this one better? I spoke to Prince Albert the other day and said maybe we should make it longer. There are more roads so maybe we can change this great track and make it even better.

“Or maybe the format should change. You shouldn’t be able to do a one-stop race here. There has to be some mixed-up things. Maybe we need two races?”

Hamilton was not alone in his view, with Fernando Alonso, a former winner at Monte Carlo and double world champion, also taking aim at Sunday’s spectacle.

“This was probably the most boring race ever,” Alonso, who retired in the closing stages, said.

“The sport needs to think a little bit about the show because this is very disappointing.

“We probably need to give something to the fans at the end of the race just to pay back the ticket.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Lewis Hamilton wants a crack at designing track for proposed Miami Grand Prix

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Hamilton believes he can do a better job in designing the Miami circuit.

Lewis Hamilton wants Formula One chiefs to allow him to design the sport’s new track in Miami.

The inaugural race, which is penned in for October of next year, passed its first hurdle when the City Commission approved the 10-year proposal on Thursday. A further vote will be put to the Miami County later this month.

F1 is set to face opposition from local groups, with large parts of the city likely to be affected, but the sport’s American owner Liberty Media is confident of getting an agreement over the line.

Sean Bratches, F1’s commercial boss, was in Miami on Thursday to run through the proposal which, if fully approved, will be the biggest coup of Liberty’s reign so far. Bratches said Miami “represents a fantastic opportunity to bring the greatest racing spectacle on the planet to one of the world’s most iconic cities.”

The proposed 2.6mile track includes the port, runs along Biscayne Boulevard and loops around the American Airlines Arena, home of NBA side Miami Heat.

Hamilton gave the track the thumbs down last week, however, writing on Instagram: “OK, so I’ve just seen the design of the Miami track. Nah bruh, it’s not the one. Let me design it.”

Adding to his social media remarks, Hamilton said: “Miami is a super-cool place and I was very excited to hear about it, but when I saw the layout I was like ‘meh’. It could be a lot more fun.

Hamilton wants Formula One to take a cue from golf.

Hamilton wants Formula One to take a cue from golf.

“I know Miami quite well so there are a few better locations to put the track.”

Hamilton, who was speaking ahead of this week’s Spanish Grand Prix, added: “All the great golfers design golf courses, but no top racing drivers have ever designed a track.

“Maybe it is a hit but if there is time and anyone wants to approach me or any of the drivers, I am sure we can give some good insight, and how the layout can be better.”

A spokesperson for F1 told Press Association Sport that the track could yet be adapted.

F1’s owners have made no secret of their desire to stage more races in America, with New York and Las Vegas also under consideration. A deal to race in Miami would also be the first struck in the post-Bernie Ecclestone era.

Hamilton heads into the opening leg of the European season here in Barcelona with a four-point championship lead over Sebastian Vettel after he won fortuitously in Azerbaijan last time out.

The 33-year-old Englishman, who spent last weekend at the Met Gala in New York, is yet to sign an extension to his Mercedes contract which expires at the end of the season.

Hamilton and Mercedes had hoped to get his new deal over the line before March’s opening rubber in Melbourne, but appear no closer to an announcement.

“When it’s signed, it’s signed,” Hamilton said. “Formula One is shifting and we don’t know what the sport is doing.

“All the teams come to the end of an agreement in 2020 so there is that, and my future to determine. I have got to decide how long I want to do it, how long I plan to be here, and that is why I am taking my time.”

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