Lewis Hamilton became a specialist in certain lifts (victorious or not) when Mercedes had one of the best single-seaters and added one to his hunt list this Sunday in Barcelona. What is even more remarkable is that the German team clearly had no horse above the fight this time, despite life-saving developments introduced for this Spanish Grand Prix.
Starting from sixth place on the grid, the Brit thought he had lost everything after a few corners when contact with Kevin Magnussen – classified as a racing accident – caused tire damage and forced him to pit early. “I was on the normal trajectory, inside, he came out of nowhere and hit me”he says. “He came from behind and hit the side of my car. I have nothing to say, that’s the way it is.”
Hamilton dropped wide without being able to implement a strategy with the medium tire at the start, which he was the only one to try. Therefore, at first he thought that it was not worth continuing the race and asked his team about the possibility of giving up in order to save his engine for the next deadlines.
“I’m glad we didn’t and it shows that you should never stop, never give up and I did.”he admits after being persuaded by the pit wall that he had to stay behind. “I’m very happy. Of course I was hoping for a less eventful race without the problem at the start. I was behind at one point the last 30 seconds. Thinking about where I was and thinking back to Jeddah when I was 15th . started.” was struggling to get back in the top 10, I thought it was impossible to get back in the points.”
“But the team said no that I’m fighting for eighth place. I didn’t get it at first and figured they were really super optimistic. But I said, OK, I’ll give it my all and see where I finish. And it ends in better than eighth place. In the end it’s a bit unfortunate with the engine, but I’m happy to have finished.”
Left with a knife between his teeth, Hamilton unrolled Mercedes’ plan and advanced, first to the top 10, then to more enticing spots. Fourth position beckoned to him as he asserted himself Carlo Sainz, but a consumption problem forced him to settle for fifth place at the checkered flag. Well beyond the ten points accumulated, it’s the manner in which Hamilton maintains and the tenfold motivation that reflects for the remainder of his campaign.
“It’s always good, since the last Grand Prix last season there have been some difficult times”he agrees. “And with the difficulties we had with the car, problems, safety cars and stuff like that, we didn’t have much success. But you just have to get back in the saddle, keep pushing and never give up. A race like that is like a win. In fact, coming back from so far and having been through so much makes you feel better than a win. There was quite a bit of adversity in this race, starting from here.”
“We’ve made a lot of improvements to the car. The race pace is much better, the car is much more comfortable in the race. We have room for improvement in qualifying. Our cars were a bit different. You experienced something in George’s car.” , which turned out to be the best solution in qualifying. Maybe I’ll take that for the next Grand Prix. But yes, it’s a great signal, we’re going in the right direction. I have no doubts because today if I hadn’t known that I would have fought with Red Bull. That gives me great hope that we will fight for victory at some point.”
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