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Scroll down to listen to this week's podcast.

The Inside Line team are back with their latest F1 podcast, saying thanks to Mclaren for vetoing a Red Bull Racing-Honda partnership a few seasons ago.

They say that, if not, we’d have had six GP2 cars (or worse!) racing in Formula 1.

Elsewhere on week’s episode, Mithila and Kunal discuss Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 preparations, the Bernie Ecclestone-Sebastian Vettel friendship, Lauda’s support of every Hamilton challenger, Renault’s 2030 F1 concept and IF Fernando Alonso will retire his Mclaren-Honda in the upcoming Russian Grand Prix too.

You can listen to all of this and more in the podcast below.

And you can also subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes and audioBoom.

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Hamilton also wants to fight with McLaren and Williams

F1i 24/04/2017
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Lewis Hamilton

Among the teams which have written some of Formula 1’s most glorious chapters, both McLaren and Williams have been left behind in the fight for supremacy in Grand Prix racing.

While Williams hasn’t challenged for the title since 2003, McLaren hasn’t achieved a single race win since Lewis Hamilton departed the Woking-based outfit at the end of 2012.

The Mercedes driver has expressed this season his satisfaction in seeing Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel mount a worthy challenge, but he would like to see others join the fray.

“What’s sad for me watching Formula 1 is you see the depth of teams, Williams, McLaren, and they’re not back there,” Hamilton said.

“Williams hasn’t been right in the fight for years – they had that real slump, and now McLaren’s having it.”

While the three-time world champion is hoping Williams and McLaren can revive their former luster, he just wishes it happens while he’s still an active F1 driver.

“There’s a passion with Ferrari, there’s a passion with Mercedes, passion with McLaren – because of the drivers, experiences and championships they’ve had while I’ve been watching Formula 1.

“I hope in my time left in Formula 1 there is a period of time where Williams is up there with us and McLaren is up there with us and there’s a real strong front line of the top teams – which I think is magical.

“I hope that comes back into the mix at some stage.”

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Hamilton and Mercedes make progress on poor grip issues

F1i 19/04/2017
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Lewis Hamilton.

The Brit topped the timesheet, clocking a 1m31.358 on the Soft compound Pirelli tyre late in the afternoon.

“Today was tricky with it being so hot and very gusty but we still managed to get through plenty of work,” Hamilton said.

“Our focus was on advancing our understanding of the tyres and also the rear of the car so that we can improve our long runs – particularly during the race and on the SuperSoft compound.

“We came here with a specific goal, so it was positive to get on top of that with the team.”

While his team seeks to improve its tyre troubles, Hamilton is forecasting different tyre management in Russia next week, on a track which doesn’t compare to Bahrain in terms of degradation.

“Sochi is a smoother track and less abrasive on the tyres, so they can go quite a long way. Hopefully we can rely on the pace of our car there rather than our use of the tyres.”

Valtteri Bottas will take the wheel of the W08 Wednesday for the second and final day of the test.

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