Spanish Grand Prix – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has paid tribute to his hard working team after a dominant race win in Spain, saying the upgrades to his car have worked flawlessly.
Hamilton took a comfortable victory after an intense intra-team battle with Valtteri Bottas. Having been comprehensively beaten in qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton got the jump on a slow starting Bottas when the lights went out to start the race. From there, Hamilton proved untouchable and came home three seconds clear of the Finn after a late race Safety Car wiped out a much bigger time advantage.
Explaining his approach to the race start, he said: “I had looked at the support races and it appeared that both sides were quite equal.”
“So when the lights went out, the initial start was good and then after that we were quite close all the way down to Turn 1 and the Ferrari might have even been alongside us again. It was a great battle and naturally a decisive moment. This is such a great circuit but it’s very, very hard to follow once you get through Turn 1. I’m not really sure if they’ll ever make amendments to make it a race where we would be closer. But nonetheless once we got around Turn 1 I just had to get my head down and focus on just trying to deliver each lap.”
Having been over 0.6 seconds off the pace of Bottas in Q3 on Saturday, just how did Hamilton redress the balance and find the extra pace needed to turn a weaker qualifying into a stronger race?
“The balance yesterday was a bit of a nightmare.” he continued. “But race pace has generally been quite good for me, I’ve been really happy and comfortable generally in the races. When we went out to do the laps to grid I wasn’t very happy with the balance still, so I had to make some changes. I had a to alter my driving style a little bit. But it worked well in the race scenario. Going to look into detail why it doesn’t work well on a single lap. That may take some time. Normally with tyres I’m pretty good but I think that’s the weak area. It’s not that I can’t do it, I just need to discover it and that’s what I’ll put some effort towards.”
“[It’s] just an incredible day for the team. We brought an upgrade here obviously and everyone worked so hard to make sure they brought a decent upgrade, something that delivered on every aspect and very, very proud of everyone back at the factory for their hard work. And the guys here at the track? They’re just always faultless.”