Lewis Hamilton concedes Mercedes are ‘NOT fighting for the Championship’ this season after finishing 14th in Saturday’s sprint race… with Toto Wolff admitting that this weekend at Imola is already a ‘complete write-off’

Lewis Hamilton wrote off his chances of winning a historic eighth world title this season. ‘We’re not fighting for the championship,’ he declared, before insisting he will not quit Formula One. The latest irrefutable fact came after a thrilling climax to the sprint race here at Imola where Hamilton finished 41 seconds behind winner Max Verstappen. ‘We’re not fighting for the title,’ said 37-year-old Hamilton, ‘but to understand the car and improve and progress through the year. ‘We stick together, we try to motivate each other,’ said Hamilton, whose final media call was delayed 35 minutes. ‘I hope we can rectify it at some point in the year, or worst-case scenario, by next year.’. As for his animated discussion with Hamilton, the Austrian said: ‘It’s quite funny how it’s being interpreted.

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