What Hamilton was referring to was the two red flags that resulted in two additional standing starts.
“It felt like I had three races in one day, I’m pretty exhausted, to be honest,” said Hamilton.
“I didn’t do a good start the first time, then we had the rolling start which wasn’t good, then we had the second start from second, and that obviously was better.
“Then I had a seven-second gap or whatever it is, and pretty comfortable with that gap and new tyres, and then another [red flag].
“Of course anything could happen on those starts, but fortunately I got the best start finally of the day.
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“After that, Valtteri was still right there the whole time, so if I made any mistake, he would have slipstreamed me up this 1,000 metre straight.
“Today was physically and mentally one of the most challenging days I’ve experienced.”
“Valtteri was so quick all weekend, so keeping him behind, the starts and stops that we had, I wouldn’t say it was very easy to stay in the zone.
“But [I’m] really, really grateful to the team for running up an down the pit lane. We had the furthest to go, and with their composure, I think they did an amazing job.
“Just proud to be a part of it, and really proud of the performance today. It was not easy keeping these guys behind.”
Having raced on the Mugello track for the first time, Lewis Hamilton was asked if he would like to return to the track in the future.
“I like it. I don’t know how it was down the rest of the field, but yeah, it’s an incredible circuit, and I would really love to come back,” concluded the Briton.