Lewis Hamilton was delighted to take victory in the Chinese Grand Prix and avoid any mistakes, especially after the tricky conditions that greeted the drivers at the start of the race and the safety car that meant the temperature in his tyres was not as it should be.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer led from start to finish at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday, winning for the fifth time at the circuit and for the fifty-fourth time in his career.
“My pole lap put me in a great position and then the start was just fantastic,” said Hamilton. “I’m really happy with my starts right now so I want to keep that up!
“During the race I needed to keep my composure in some really tricky conditions out there. After the pit stop under the Safety Car the speed was low and the tyres were very cold, so it would have been very easy to make a mistake, so I’m just grateful that I didn’t.”
Hamilton continued to express his pleasure that Mercedes have true competition from outside their own garage with the rise of Scuderia Ferrari and in particular Sebastian Vettel, who did not give him a moment of rest throughout the closing stages of the race, ending just 6.250 seconds adrift.
“In those final 20 laps Seb and I were just pounding around as fast as we could, exchanging fastest lap times, that’s what racing is all about,” said Hamilton.
“In the future there will be times when we don’t have a Safety Car and we won’t have that gap. I’m excited for that. It’s very close and there were times when it was hard to match Sebastian.”
Hamilton once more took time to praise the team he has behind him both in the garage and in the factories back in England, and results such as this is the reward not just for the driver but for everyone involved in the team.
“It has been a fantastic weekend and I’m so grateful for the effort the team has put in for us to be where we are today,” said Hamilton. “It’s very overwhelming when you have a weekend like this, because I’m just a single link in the chain and there are hundreds of people who are involved to put me up here on the top step.
“Big congratulations to everyone, especially those back home, I hope they’re celebrating and feeling the spirit and the fight.”