Lewis Hamilton unimpressed by plans to add more races to F1 calendar

Mercedes team

Mercedes team

"I hope we can get the auto back in the right place".

Hamilton secured his latest drivers' title with a fourth-placed finish in Mexico last time out, the 19th stop of the 2018 campaign.

Hamilton hailed Bottas's contribution after winning the championship in Mexico, and has emphasised how well they get on as team mates.

Both know, too, that rival Ferrari, whose record of six teams' titles from 1999 to 2004 may be under threat, enjoyed a resurgence in Texas and Mexico that saw the team out-perform Mercedes, restricting its advantage to 55 points with two races remaining.

But Hamilton pointed out that Mercedes had lacked competitiveness in the last two races in the USA and Mexico.

"We have such a huge respect for each other", he said.

"It's the greatest partnership in terms of respect and teamwork from drivers that I'm sure has ever existed in Formula One - probably".

He added that it was more important for the team to succeed in the constructors' championship.

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"We have a battle on our hands for the constructors' title and we have lost ground to Ferrari in each of the past race weekends". "I see how hard he works".

"I have been three times in a position like that in '17, '09 and this year".

Even with these results, Ferrari only managed to outscore Mercedes by 11 points, so it will be extremely challenging for them to outscore them by at least 13 points in the Brazilian Grand Prix to take the constructor championship battle to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"Obviously the last race was a tough one to swallow and probably the winter will be as well, but giving up is not an option". "We keep our head down and try our best". However, it is a statistic which can be overplayed - two of Hamilton's four previous championships were secured at the final race.

"Ultimately, the team don't care which driver wins", said Hamilton. "I haven't asked Valtteri, but I don't think he will want that". I don't think he needs it anyway. "I think he thinks he can do it himself". "I'm always really open with my set-up, so I'll continue to be so".

Bottas confirmed: "I definitely don't want to win by it being given to me. He wants to win in his own way".

The team first tried changing the rear suspension's pick-up points for the Spanish Grand Prix in May (with the aim of exploiting the car's relatively high-rake design philosophy) which led to increased graining on the rear tyres, while the same problem occurred in Russian Federation when they tried the approach again, with Ferrari eventually deciding to take the upgrade off the vehicle following Friday's running at the proceeding Japanese Grand Prix.

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