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Racing champ vows he’s not playing nice — even with his team — in 2018
Lewis Hamilton by Mark Thompson Getty Images

Formula 1 champ Lewis Hamilton likes the results of 2017 but says 2018 is going to be different.

Hamilton is referring to how teammate Valtteri Bottas was out in front of the Hungarian Grand Prix but was told to let Hamilton overtake him to challenge the Ferrari team. Eventually, Hamilton dropped back again and let Bottas move up to a third-place finish. Autosport.com reports Hamilton says that even though it was good for team Mercedes, it left him unsatisfied.

“I went into that break and mentally I was like ‘I don’t ever want to be in a position, or even put the team in a position where they have to decide whether we’re first or second,” said Hamilton. “I was like ‘from now on, I need to be ahead every single time’ and then there’ll never, ever be the question or whether Valtteri should let me past and those kind of things.”

Hamilton says he needs to be more aggressive earlier in the season to build up a bigger lead. After Hungary, Hamilton was 14 points behind in the standings. He then went on to win five of the next six races to claim the title.

“I made sure that I studied what I’d done at the beginning of the year and applied everything I’d learned to the second part,” Hamilton said.

As far as looking ahead, Hamilton is enjoying the fight that’s going on between Mercedes and Ferrari, stressing it’s made him a better driver and the team overall better.

“When you’re fighting against another team, the energy within the team is so much different,” said Hamilton. “When you meet all the engineers and you go round and see what they’re working on and how they’re doing, they ask you questions and they’re like ‘we want to beat Ferrari, we want to be the best we can be’.”

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