Lewis Hamilton ready for F1 Bottas battle as Ferrari struggle to keep pace

Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas is biggest threat to world champion while Max Verstappen and Red Bull show promise

Having retaken the lead of the F1 championship and now enjoying a seven-point advantage over Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton acknowledged his Mercedes teammate is proving his most challenging rival this season. Hamilton has repeatedly talked up the challenge from Ferrari but now with a 48-point lead over Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari looking to have dropped even further off Mercedes’ pace in Barcelona, Bottas is now his focus. “Even though the Red Bulls have picked up on their engines, they have not built a car as good as in previous years. Ferrari too have good power but are lacking in areas,” he said. “So the closest to you is always the biggest threat – Valtteri. Especially as he is pulling out some great laps. It is good for the team and it is great to see him step up to another level.” He will be buoyed in that in this fight, Bottas has taken pole in the last three races but Hamilton has won two of them and might have taken Baku but for giving his teammate generous room through turn one.

Related: Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish GP as Mercedes seal fifth consecutive one-two

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Source: Formula 1

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