Lewis Hamilton feared that his car was not going to make it to the end of the Monaco Grand Prix, as he thought there was no more grip left on his medium compound tyres.
The reigning World Champion lead every single lap of the race from pole position to claim an emotional victory on the streets of Monte Carlo but it was by far no walk in the park for the thirty-four year old Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver as he was forced to hold off the challenge of Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen.
“Today was one of the hardest races of my career, it was so intense,” Hamilton said. “With 20 laps left I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the end. I thought I was going to crash, I was battling so much with the car.
“There was absolutely nothing left in the tyres and it was so tough to keep the car on the track.”
The Monaco win took Hamilton’s tally to seventy-seven, fourteen off the record currently held by Michael Schumacher. Whilst the Brit continues to pursue his dream to catch one multiple world champion’s tally, he had for sure another one on his mind following the passing of Niki Lauda in the week leading up to the event.
“I thought to myself, ‘what would Niki do’,” Hamilton added emotionally. “I was trying my hardest – giving everything I had. I just tried to stay focused and make no mistakes.
“I know he was watching me today, but with Niki by my side we managed to do it. I wore his helmet colours today and I didn’t want to let him down. He was close to my heart, I really wanted to deliver for him this weekend and I was determined not to crack under the pressure. Today belongs to Niki.”