Lewis Hamilton: “This is why I race”


Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes W08 EQ Power+ Spanish GP 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton was ecstatic after his race win at the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, labelling the close battle between himself and Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel as “the rawest fight I can remember having in a long time”.

“It’s been a really good weekend and a great way to bounce back from Russia.

“I loved it, this is why I race. This is what made me get into racing in the first place. This is what the sport needs to be like every single weekend. To have a close battle like that with a four-time champion is awesome.”

The Brit described how it was tough going trying to keep up with the German, after losing the lead to him off the line, but strong tyre management and will power kept him going.

“I lost out on the start and had to watch Sebastian fly by. He was so fast out in front and it was such a push to keep in touch with him and not let him pull away.

“I was able to manage my tyres in the first stint and keep relatively close, then it was tricky to keep up on the Medium tyre and then after the second stop.”

Hamilton’s early second pit stop, which Vettel then immediately reacted to, made things extremely close between the pair as the German exited the pits, and there was a slight touch between the two as they jostled for track position.

That close encounter saw the Brit take to the run-off and concede the place to the Ferrari briefly, but five laps down the road Hamilton was able to catch and overtake the German for the lead, where he remained at the chequered flag.

“We came out so close together which was super tight into Turn 1. He didn’t give me much space, it was close! I thought Seb would get me at the end of the final stint but I was able to do it.”

After such a strong turnaround this weekend, from his uncharacteristic low-key fourth place in Russia, Hamilton was over the moon with the upgrades brought to Barcelona and the hard work from the team to deliver a strong machine.

“I have to congratulate my team today, with the strategy and the pit stops, as well as everyone back at the factory that has worked so hard to deliver these upgrades, enabling us to be so close in this fight with Ferrari.”