Hamilton hails "good gamble" on Spanish GP strategy

Lewis Hamilton thanked his Mercedes team for a "good gamble" on his Formula 1 race strategy after recovering a 22-second gap to pass Max Verstappen for victory in Spain.

Pole-sitter Hamilton was passed by Verstappen at Turn 1 on the opening lap, and spent the first stint of the race trailing the Red Bull driver, ultimately falling 5.5 seconds behind after pitting.

Hamilton was then able to close up to Verstappen on the medium tyres, and was set to overtake before Mercedes called him in for a second pitstop. With Red Bull committing Verstappen to a one-stop strategy, Hamilton was able to put his fresher tyres to good use, taking two seconds per lap out of the Dutchman to carve into the gap.

He ultimately overtook for the lead with seven laps remaining, clinching his third victory of the season in the process and moving 14 points clear at the top of the drivers' championship.

"[It was] such a close start, obviously there was a little rubber down on the right-hand side and the Red Bull made a great start," Hamilton said. "Then I was just hunting, and I was so close for so long, and I didn't think in doing that I was going to be able to make the tyres last.

"But I just managed to just keep them in somehow. And a long way to come from 20 seconds back. But it was a good gamble, really great strategy."

Read Also:

Hamilton thanked Mercedes' F1 strategy chief James Vowles over team radio after taking the chequered flag, and explained that the team always planned to keep a set of mediums available in case it opted for a two-stop strategy.

"The plan all weekend to make sure we had two mediums, to be able to do a two-stop," Hamilton said. "Even though one-stop potentially looks better, I know from experience here that a one-stop is very, very hard to pull off. And as soon as we had the pace that we had, I knew as soon as I could get past him if I could."

Hamilton closed to within half a second of Verstappen on lap 42, and looked set to pass on the main straight before being called into the pits for his second stop.

The seven-time world champion admitted that he was torn over whether to ignore the call so he could overtake Verstappen or not.

"I was about to get, I think, a shot to get past him before I pitted him right at the end," Hamilton said. "I was really conflicted: do I come in or do I ignore the call and stay out? I did what the team, asked and that's because there is great trust between us.

"It was a remarkable job by everyone in this team. What a day!"

shares
comments

Related video

Alfa Romeo explains disastrous Giovinazzi pitstop

Previous article

Alfa Romeo explains disastrous Giovinazzi pitstop

Next article

Hamilton "made sure" to give Verstappen space at Turn 1

Hamilton "made sure" to give Verstappen space at Turn 1
Load comments
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021