Sebastian Vettel’s win in Malaysia came on a track where the rear tyres were the limiting factor amid high temperatures. Bahrain should see a similar type of challenge for the teams, and with 2014’s race delivering an epic battle between Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg the defending world champion believes this year could be even better.
“Last year we had an amazing race here, it was really fantastic, great fun, huge huge challenge both for Nico and for me,” Hamilton said. “That was the first night race here. It was honestly the best race, visibly, that I had seen here in Bahrain so it was great and I’m looking forward to that.
“I think with these tyres and with Ferrari in the mix, I think we could see a real special race here. On my part, I’m just going to keep doing what I do and try to... ultimately I want to improve. Last year I didn’t qualify on pole here, I’ve never been on pole here so that’s the challenge but as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the challenge of trying to win the race.”
And Hamilton feels Mercedes will have a real fight with Ferrari on its hands even if it manages its tyres better than it did in Malaysia three weeks ago.
“Regarding the tyres, still as it was in Malaysia, very much a rear-limited circuit so you have to assume that Ferrari will be very strong again, but I think from our experience with Malaysia we’re going to try and take a slightly different approach and hope that that helps us combat that whatever you want to call it: weakness or area in which we can improve.
“I feel quite confident that as a team we can rectify that issue that we had in Malaysia, but it’s still going to be tough and Ferrari have been very very competitive in the last couple of races. So I anticipate they will be very strong this weekend and our race is definitely with them.”
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