Lewis Hamilton explains why he asked to retire the car in Spain

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

After a collision with Kevin Magnussen at the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton dropped back to P19 and then asked the team if it would be better to retire the car. He explains why.

At the very beginning of the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was involved in a collision with Kevin Magnussen, which caused a tyre puncture and dropped him down to P19.

At that point he asked Mercedes if it would be better to retire the car and save the engine, but the team informed him that they believe he could get up to P8.

After the race Lewis was asked if he was feeling defeated at that point.

“It’s not being defeated, it was just I was literally 30 seconds behind,” the Briton said.

“So why [continue racing] if I’m going to use a whole engine to drive around in last or out of the top 15, and at one point we might have to take a penalty or something like that.

“I don’t know if reliability is an issue, we won’t know until, well we’ve already seen today at the end there was something.

“I was like we might as well just save the engine so we live to fight another day. But I’m glad we didn’t, and it just shows you never stop, you never give up, and that’s what I did.”

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And it was the right choice as Lewis managed to climb back up to P4. However, in the closing stages of the race the team asked him to ‘lift and coast’ due to an issue with the car, so he ultimately finished in P5.

“I’m so happy. Obviously I was hoping for a smoother race without the issue at the beginning of the race. And I was 30 seconds behind at one stage, behind last.

“And having seen where I was, and if you think back to Jeddah where I started 15th and I struggled to get into the top 10, I was thinking it’s impossible to get back into points position.

“But the team said no, you’re on for eighth. I couldn’t understand it at the beginning, and I thought they were definitely being super optimistic.

“But I said OK, I’ll give it everything and see where I come out. And it turns out it was higher than eighth.

“So it’s just a little bit unfortunate at the end with the engine, but I’m just glad we finished,” Hamilton concluded.

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