Lewis Hamilton: “I had to really nurse the car home”

Lewis Hamilton finished second in the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday behind Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Nico Rosberg, but was thankful of being able to start the race at all following a race against time for the team to repair his car following its car following his qualifying power unit issue.

Hamilton admitted it has been a tough few races mechanical-wise, but is still confident the team can turn his season around so to challenge for his fourth World Drivers’ Championship.

“Firstly, I would like to that the guys who came together to get the new parts over here from the factory last night – and then to the mechanics who worked all through the night to get everything prepared for me to go out there and race today,” said Hamilton.

“The guys on my side of the garage are having a really hard time of it at the moment – but I have every faith and confidence in them. We’ve swapped things round in the garage a bit this season but that is absolutely not the reason we’ve been having issues.

“It hasn’t been the case for the past three years and I have no reason to believe it would be now. Without their hard work I wouldn’t even have got to this point, so a big thank you to them once again.”

Having taken avoiding action at the start due to the carnage ahead of him to run fifth, Hamilton climbed to second following his passes on Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen before the pit stop cycle and then Valtteri Bottas afterwards. Hamilton was making progress towards team-mate Rosberg before a water pump issue ended his charge, forcing the Briton to settle for second.

“The first corner was pretty hectic,” revealed Hamilton. “I don’t know what happened – but I saw something happening in the corner of my eye and just thought “I’m not getting caught again!”

“I managed to get out of the way and avoid it – but if I’d turned in I would have collected them. It was pure instinct and I’m glad I was able to come out without any contact this time.

“From there I had good pace and I felt like I could challenge for the win – but then there was the water pressure problem which ended that chance. It was tough to hang on at the end but I handled it as best I could.

“I had to really nurse the car home and I’m just relieved to have made it to the flag after how this weekend has been. I’ve got a long way to go yet this season with not many healthy engine parts left, so we need to do a better job on reliability.”