• Austrian GP - FP2

Hamilton: Championship lead makes Rosberg vulnerable

ESPN Staff
June 20, 2014 « 'Hard work' needed overnight for Rosberg | Red Bull can be best behind Mercedes - Ricciardo »
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Lewis Hamilton believes there is less pressure as the 'hunter' in the championship fight and feels confident he can continue to turn the screws on Nico Rosberg after topping FP2 in Austria.

Hamilton is 22 points down on his Mercedes team-mate and title rival, a gap which increased after his retirement in Canada. Rosberg went top in Friday's morning session but seemed to drop off in the afternoon as Hamilton topped the timesheets by four tenths, a good omen on an engine circuit which should continue to play into Mercedes' hands all weekend.

Though he does not think it is as important as other F1 venues Hamilton is eyeing pole to ensure Rosberg keeps feeling the heat.

"I think the pressure, and hunting, definitely brings out the good, the better side for sure," Hamilton said. "When you're out in front you feel vulnerable and any mistake you make, you are going to be caught up, so hopefully I can continue to apply that pressure.

"I don't actually think pole is going to be the most important thing because there's a long, long straight down to Turn 2. I have [got my eye on that] but I'd still like to start pole, so that's my goal."

Despite holding the edge over Rosberg in FP2 Hamilton thinks his team-mate has plenty in reserve for Saturday.

"It's not qualifying, so I'm sure he has some time in his pocket. I need to keep my head together and do the laps I know I can do."

Hamilton's retirement in Canada stemmed from a failure with the brakes, which stemmed from engine issues. In FP2 Hamilton complained about a brief loss of power but he insists it is not an issue he is dwelling on.

"It was just a setting they told me to go to. It wasn't a great setting so I had to do another one. No dramas. It's just when the KERS switches off, it was turning off a lot earlier in some places, that's all. We're fast, it's good, the car's still pretty good."

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