Hamilton hoping for another first in Baku

Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:56am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BAKU (Reuters) - Formula One takes a step into the unknown this weekend with its first grand prix in Azerbaijan but triple world champion Lewis Hamilton hopes the race will take him back to familiar territory.

A win in Baku would not only complete a hat-trick of victories for the Briton but could also see him overtake Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg at the top of the standings for the first time this year.

After winning the last two races in Monaco and Montreal, while championship leader Rosberg finished off the podium, Hamilton slashed the gap between them from 43 points to nine.

If Hamilton makes it three in a row by winning a race billed as the 'European Grand Prix', Rosberg must finish second to avoid falling behind his rival, who has beaten him to the championship for the last two years.

"We need to try to keep on a roll if possible," Hamilton said after winning in Canada on Sunday for the fifth time. "Onwards and upwards, hopefully."

Rosberg, winner of the first four races of the season as well as the last three of 2015, needs to hit back in Baku.

He won last season's 'new' race, the Mexican Grand Prix that was returning for the first time since 1992, but Hamilton had just won his third title and taken his foot off the gas.

"Canada unfortunately didn't work out as planned. But that's how things go when you're pushing the limits and I'm not going to change my approach or start backing down," said the German after making a quick getaway from Montreal.   Continued...

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain spits out champagne while celebrating after winning the race. REUTERS/Chris Wattie