Lewis Hamilton says his British GP fightback 'huge' for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton believes his fight back to second in Formula 1's British Grand Prix was "huge" for Mercedes after minimising Sebastian Vettel's championship gain

Lewis Hamilton says his British GP fightback 'huge' for Mercedes

Hamilton's charge meant victor Vettel extended his lead at the top to only eight points, despite Hamilton dropping to 18th on the opening lap thanks to a hit from Vettel's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

"We're in a tough battle this year and it's the most intense battle that I think we've probably all had," said Hamilton.

"I'm very, very grateful that the car was still in one piece after the first turn three incident.

"Whilst I appeared, at the beginning, to have lost something on the rear end, when I looked at the car afterwards it seems to be OK and it was driving better and better throughout the race, so that was a great thing.

"Honestly, to get back to second it's huge for us.

"I will definitely take it, of course, and I'm happy with the drive that I did."

Hamilton's initial messages to Mercedes over the team radio about the incident were slightly disjointed and a mix of dejection over the contact and concern over damage to his car.

His engineer Peter Bonnington attempted to reassure the four-time world champion on both counts, telling him the car looked fine and that he would be able to fight back.

Asked post-race if he thought an 18-point haul was possible after the start, Hamilton replied: "Yes. I had to have that mentality.

"I was last and I still believed I could win.

"I had to keep that mentality to get back to where I was."

Hamilton finished second after Mercedes opted not to pit him and team-mate Valtteri Bottas for fresh tyres under the safety car, which handed them track position against the Ferraris but meant they would have older rubber when racing resumed.

Bottas fell from first to fourth as he faded on his mediums, but Hamilton was able to pass his team-mate and keep Raikkonen behind him.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: "I think it was absolutely the right decision to do.

"There was 15 or 16 laps to the end, we were on quite fresh mediums that would last and gaining track position was the important one for us.

"Doing the opposite [to Ferrari] was the choice we went for and in the end it brought us a P2 and P4.

"Considering how the race started we need to accept the result as an OK outcome, as damage limitation."

Bottas said he was treating "every lap like a qualifying lap" in the final phase to stay ahead but that left him feeling like he was "driving on ice".

"I didn't quite expect it based on the laps before," said Bottas of Vettel's race-winning pass into Brooklands, which the Finn did not defend against.

"It was disappointing at that point but then seeing what happened to me lap after lap there was nothing I could do."

shares
comments
Haas must stop throwing away points, says team boss Gunther Steiner

Previous article

Haas must stop throwing away points, says team boss Gunther Steiner

Next article

Renault Formula 1 team makes its first profit since 2009

Renault Formula 1 team makes its first profit since 2009
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021