Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton understands F1 races like Spanish GP seems easy and not exciting but the Brit adds that for him or any professional racer it is hard work still.
The 2020 Spanish GP saw little protest from rivals when Hamilton and Mercedes AMG F1 took a commanding lead, but the fight had gone elsewhere, as a team like Red Bull now focused on destabilising Mercedes by means of strategy – a common tactic to upset an adversary’s run.
Their attempts at this, too, were futile, making for a race that saw little passing, and no overtakes for the lead as Hamilton nurtured a massive gap to the end of the race. In essence, it was not what one might consider a blockbuster Grand Prix like the two proceeding it.
And, as is the case with many F1 races in the modern era, it didn’t take long for this race to be dubbed a ‘borefest’, a ‘snooze GP’, or be granted other, similarly negative titles. However, Hamilton stressed that this race as a different type of Grand Prix.
For this race, while unexciting in on-track activity, and even quiet for most of the race in the pit lane, was one that put on display the prowess of F1, and saw one team almost perfectly execute the race. And to a driver, Hamilton explains, this sort of a win is tremendously satisfying.
“I think both these professional drivers next to me, Bottas and Verstappen, can tell you – there are different types of races you have, when you’re obviously behind or leading, but to execute…we all try for perfection and it’s not always easy to deliver like that but for me in the car in Barcelona, I was ecstatic,” explained Hamilton.
“When I came across the line, I didn’t realise it was the last lap, I was still going. In my mind, I was like a horse with those blinkers on, I didn’t realise, I was going to keep going. In terms of how I drove, really delivering, I think the Spanish GP is right up there with some of the best that I’ve personally felt I’ve done so for me it’s super exciting.
“I feel we go, weekend in, weekend out and we just move on to the next thing but what I need to make sure is I really appreciate this moment because you never know when you’re going to have another like this. As I say, we’re racing weekend in, weekend out, it’s easy, sometimes, just to forget just how amazing it is, where we are, what we’re doing,” summed up Hamilton, who seldom treats himself in any spectacular fashion as some greats of the past have done.
“It was physically challenging but in terms of not making any mistakes, delivering lap upon lap upon lap, I was in a perfect zone and that’s the zone that I dream of being in,” added Hamilton. “Of course, I never would have expected to have a lead of 24s, that’s definitely not what we thought we’d have coming to this weekend.
“Even when I was catching traffic I was gaining time rather than losing time which is never the case. Normally you lose time with traffic and today wasn’t the case. There were all these elements, which were just perfectly in place and I was very, very centred in my core; got to try and get there every week, every day,” summed up Hamilton.
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