Lewis Hamilton started the Qatar Grand Prix on medium tyres, while the cars around him were on softs. After the race he talked the journalists through his start.
“There was a little bit to gain from being on the Soft tyre but I generally felt I wasn’t massively under threat,” the Briton said.
“I managed to cover the ground just off the start and after that it was just head down and focused on trying to bridge the gap.
“I already saw that when I got to Turn 6, Max was already in fourth place, so I knew he was already past my team-mate, and at the time I obviously didn’t know that Valtteri had had such a bad getaway, but after that I was just focused on trying to maximise the points for the team.
“So, I was feeling strong. I think they had relatively decent pace, but I was able to manage the pace, so it was no problem.”
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Mercedes tried to keep Valtteri Bottas on a one-stop strategy, but unfortunately his tyres couldn’t make it and he suffered a front left tyre failure.
Hamilton was on a two-stop strategy, but there were still some concerns about his tyres, considering what happened to the Finn. However, Lewis says he himself was not concerned.
“No. I mean, I wasn’t… I was managing quite well, I wasn’t on any of the kerbs, so it wasn’t a concern for me.
“I assumed they were coming from people running on the kerbs but I was never near any of them, that wasn’t the issue.
“I’m really, really grateful, as I said, to my team. Big thank you to all the guys, the men and women back at the factories who have been pushing so much over this…
“Particularly this second half of the season, to really try to bridge the gap, to really try and bridge the gap to our competitors. It’s a great feeling but there’s no time to celebrate, there’s no time to rest.
“We keep our head down and we keep chasing,” concluded the seven-time champion.