Lewis Hamilton’s driving at the Spanish Grand Prix was, like many of you said on Twitter, a masterclass in racing as he reached 5th place after being completely knocked out during lap 1. Kevin Magnussen in the Haas hit the front tyre of the 7-time world champion, forcing both into the pits to get new tyres. The stewards classed this as a “racing incident”.
He came out in P19, but he pushed through the swarm of drivers to P4 behind teammate George Russel, but team orders told him to slow down as they found a water leak in the power unit – a potential “DNF risk” according to the team. This allowed Carlos Sainz to overtake him, but you still voted him driver of the day because of this insane performance.
But with his car showing a healthy level of performance after a slow start to the season, Hamilton was left wondering where he could have finished if Magnussen hadn’t hit him.
“Just really grateful I was able to come back and so grateful to the team for just keeping their head down and positive feedback coming through,” he told Sky F1.
“And for the all the amazing work to get us to this improvement you know, the car felt great and the race pace is closer to the to the rest and the top guys in the race, which is amazing.
“Yeah, just really unfortunate at start to get the punches that I got, but I didn’t give up. So that’s what we do, right?
“I think if I hadn’t had that issue at the beginning, who knows where we would have been in the end, so it’s great to know that we had similar pace to some of the front runners.”
Hamilton was then asked about why he almost retired the car after the hit:
“It’s just a lot hotter than predicted today. And I think for everyone, it’s just it’s quite tough with these cars, and yeah, I think today we don’t know exactly what went on with the car.
“I’ve not spoken to the team because I’ve been elsewhere, but I had to basically just drive it half throttle and trying to pull the car and lots and lots of lifting down the straight, just to try and get clean air and fresh air into the engine and just to cool it down.”
Hamilton was overtaken by Ferrari driver Sainz towards the end of the race because of him having to slow the car down, which he felt him “gutted”:
“Gutted to lose the pace to Sainz [at the end], but especially after like coming from where I came from, you know, like I mean, that was 30 plus seconds behind last place,” Hamilton said. “I mean that’s like no man’s land, and I’d say it’s a horrible feeling being that far behind.
“But you just have to kind of keep your head up, just keep pushing, keep going and hoping for better, you know.
“And they said I could maybe get to eighth and an eighth doesn’t feel like a particularly impressive result.
“But I was like well, at least I’ll get into the points and so then finishing fourth, I was so happy.”