Hamilton's thoughts 'already' on title race

Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton braced for hard race - and close season

"It was not an easy race, but one that I feel quite happy with now that I've cooled down", said Hamilton.

So are Ferrari the real favourites?

"Obviously, the grid penalty was hard to swallow here this weekend, but I think the team did a really good job". I mean, I don't know what Lewis did.

"Hopefully when we go to the next race we'll have a better understanding of the tyres and hopefully put up a better fight with the Ferraris".

"Do you think, if you compare it to football, if you have a microphone on a footballer's mouth, that everything he says is something nice and it's a nice message when the guy tackles him and sometimes he fouls him?" "He'd just got out of the vehicle".

Hamilton emerged unscathed but the collision punctured Verstappen's tyre which eventually damaged his gearbox and forced him to retire from the race.

Hamilton had a choice word to describe Verstappen in the wake of their Bahrain clash, which left the Dutchman with a puncture. It was a silly maneuver for himself, because he didn't finish the race.

"My thoughts are already on the World Championship", the Mercedes driver told Sky F1. He was past. I couldn't get by. "From my side I gave him enough room". "Is that correct? And more importantly, is there an opinion you have on the contact you had with Max in the beginning stages of the race?"

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Sebastian Vettel: "Can I answer that question?". "It's not fair. I don't know what Lewis did, but we've all been in that situation". He also accused the journalist of trying to make up a story. So, it's not personal, don't take it personal.

"While he has fantastic pace, as youngsters, we do not always make the right decision".

"I have to re-watch it to be honest, because in the heat of the moment I only have one picture in my mind", the Briton said. "Now over to you, Lewis".

Hamilton, who stressed at the start of the weekend the battle at the front was closer than it appeared in Melbourne, reiterated Mercedes had a serious challenge on their hands. I think maybe it was when we were talking afterwards?

"But he continued to come across and that didn't leave me any room and we ended up touching..."

"From the start I was enjoying the feel of the auto and finding the gaps and it was shaping up to be an exciting race".

The defending champion, who will fulfil sponsorship commitments on Tuesday and Wednesday, was victorious in China a year ago and will be desperate to get his title charge back on track following two winless rubbers.

Comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. It was an unnecessary collision.

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