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Lewis Hamilton brands chassis claims "a myth"

Lewis Hamilton brands chassis claims
© Reuters
Paul Di Resta had suggested the world champion would be regretting Mercedes' decision to switch chassis with Valtteri Bottas' car.

Lewis Hamilton put his Mercedes on the front row alongside championship rival Max Verstappen for Sunday's French Grand Prix – and then branded Sky Sports' pundit Paul Di Resta's claim that he wanted his old chassis back as a "myth".

Ahead of the seventh round of the season in the south of France, Mercedes switched Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas' chassis around in what the world champions called a planned rotation of parts to even out the mileage on their two cars.

But the unusual move has raised eyebrows in the paddock. Hamilton's former team-mate Nico Rosberg claimed such a scenario never occurred during his time alongside Hamilton at the Silver Arrows – for the record, Mercedes say it did – while Di Resta, who competed in 59 grands prix, claimed in commentary during Friday practice that the British driver would be ruing his team's decision.

It is understood that Hamilton watched a replay of Sky's coverage on Friday evening and took umbrage with Di Resta's remarks.

Di Resta was then handed the duty of conducting the post-qualifying interviews.

Moments after stepping out of his Mercedes machine, Hamilton, who qualified 0.258 seconds behind pole-sitter Verstappen's Red Bull, said: "I saw you coming up with some myth so I was happy to be able to prove it wrong and prove the quality of our engineers' work."

Later, the Briton, 36, added: "I heard yesterday that Paul was saying something about the chassis, and questioning whether they were the same. But you could see today I could do a great job with this car, so it is no different.

Auto – Formula One Motor Racing – Spanish Grand Prix – Practice – Circuit de Catalunya
Lewis Hamilton reportedly took umbrage with comments made by Paul Di Resta (David Davies/PA)

"It is not just a case of putting the car on track and it working everywhere.

"I am proud of my team for keeping their heads down and not getting too shaken up by all the commotion that has been going on in the background, and instead trying to get the car where it needs to be."

Hamilton has bossed the past two editions of the French GP at the Paul Ricard circuit, winning both rounds from pole, but the seven-time world champion has not had an answer for the pace of Verstappen here.

However, given his troubles in practice – where he failed to finish higher than third and was slower than team-mate Bottas – Hamilton will take comfort from joining his title rival on the front row. Rain is also on the radar for Sunday's race.

Nevertheless it is Verstappen who heads into Sunday's race as the favourite to extend his four-point advantage after claiming his fifth career pole.

Hamilton, who finished only seventh in Monaco and then out of the points in Baku, added: "It has been a really, really hard weekend, mentally, trying to get the car into a happy place.

"You wouldn't believe how many changes we have made. Going round and round and chasing our tail. But we have got a race on our hands, we are loving the battle, and we are going to keep pushing, keep fighting to give it everything.

"We've got a fighting chance into Turn 1, and maybe it will rain, so potentially you will get to see the rain meisters do their thing."

Bottas lines up behind his team-mate, with Red Bull's Sergio Perez fourth and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly starting fifth and sixth.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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