Hamilton: I could have fought the Red Bulls in F1 Spanish GP

Lewis Hamilton believes he could have fought against the Red Bulls in the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix had it not been for his first-lap clash with Kevin Magnussen.

Hamilton: I could have fought the Red Bulls in F1 Spanish GP

Mercedes brought a raft of updates to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix, but Hamilton said he was still struggling with the W13 car in qualifying, leaving him sixth on the grid.

Contact with Haas driver Magnussen on the opening lap caused Hamilton to slow and forced him into an early pitstop, leaving him over 50 second off the leader at the end of the opening lap.

Hamilton asked Mercedes over the radio if it would be worth saving the engine on his car, only to be told that he could still finish as high as eighth.

But Hamilton ultimately clawed his way back up to fifth at the chequered flag, having only lost fourth place to Carlos Sainz in the closing stages when a water leak forced him to slow down.

Hamilton explained that the race pace was “much better” and the car felt “much nicer” over the long runs thanks to the updates, giving him reason to think he could have been in the mix with the Red Bulls that finished first and second in a normal race.

“This is a great sign that we’re going in the right direction,” Hamilton said.

“I have no doubt at some stage [we can fight for wins again] because today, if I hadn’t had that, I’d have been fighting with the Red Bulls.

“So that gives me great hope that at some stage we’ll be fighting for the win.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Hamilton added that Mercedes had “experimented something” on team-mate George Russell’s car that “ultimately ended up being the better way to go in qualifying”, meaning he would “probably take that on” from the next race in Monaco.

He managed to pull off a number of overtakes as he cut his way through the field, running a three-stop strategy that included a late charge on softs. He was able to pick off Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas and Sainz in the final stint, only to then lose fourth to Sainz due to the issue.

Hamilton felt that race charging through the field was “like a win” and “actually feels better most often than a win, when you’ve come from so far back and been through so much.”

Read Also:

Hamilton revealed that a conversation with a terminally-ill child on Saturday had served as inspiration for him through Sunday’s race.

“Ultimately there was quite a bit of adversity in that race, starting so far back,” Hamilton said.

“There was a girl that I spoke to yesterday, who was my little inspiration, Isla, a five-year-old that’s terminally ill and she said can you win the race for me tomorrow.

“I said I don’t know if I can win the race, but I’ll give it everything. So hopefully for me, that was a bit like a win, and I dedicate it to her.”

shares
comments
McLaren: Norris battled tonsillitis during Spanish F1 GP weekend
Previous article

McLaren: Norris battled tonsillitis during Spanish F1 GP weekend

Next article

Verstappen: F1 Spanish GP Turn 4 error "really caught me by surprise"

Verstappen: F1 Spanish GP Turn 4 error "really caught me by surprise"
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom Plus

How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom

The young Ken Tyrrell was barely 
aware of motor racing – until a trip with 
his village football team to the British
 Grand Prix set him on the road to
 becoming a Formula 1 constructor. MAURICE HAMILTON details the humble beginning of Tyrrell and how Ken linked up with Jackie Stewart…

Formula 1
Sep 19, 2022