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Lewis Hamilton: 'I have to surpass Leclerc at all costs'

Lewis Hamilton: 'I have to surpass Leclerc at all costs'

Lewis Hamilton wants to pass Charles Leclerc as soon as he starts in the main race of the 2019 Russian Grand Prix today.

"From the starting line to the Turn 2 on the Sochi racetrack is a long straight line. Using a harder tire to start is not appropriate in that case. But, I will try to shelter Leclerc at all costs. It's not simple simply because Ferrari often comes out well", Lewis Hamilton said at a press conference after the qualifying round in Sochi yesterday.

Hamilton had the third straight leg in second place after Leclerc in the qualifying round. He and his teammate Valtteri Bottas will start with regular tires, while two Ferrari drivers enter with soft tires. Soft tires can produce better performance than regular tires about one second per round. But, the hiding strategy can also help Hamilton improve performance and overcome Leclerc when entering Turn 2. Hiding the front car in a straight line helps the rear car reduce air resistance to achieve greater speed.

"The qualifying round was difficult for Mercedes because Ferrari was so fast. Their engines seemed to be raised to a new level, just like a rocket. I tried my best in the last race, the Mercedes team was also working very hard", but still second only. However, I do not think will be second, this position exceeded my expectations", Hamilton added.

The fastest Leclerc in the sector (sectors) one and two of the track. In the last race in Q3, Hamilton was the fastest in the third area, helping him to squeeze in between two Ferrari drivers. The defending champion was less than 402 seconds @Charles Leclerc and only 0.023 seconds more than Vettel.

"I know Ferrari has adjusted the SF90 to reduce the pressure down in Sochi. That helps them to reach higher speeds in a straight line. Not to mention the Ferrari engine is also respectable. We have to find a way to beat them with tactics", emphasized the 34-year-old racer.

The main race of the Russian Grand Prix 2019 will take place at 19:10 on September 29th, GMT+8 time.