Mercedes’ James Vowles hails Lewis Hamilton’s “drive of a champion”

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG

Mercedes Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles says for “a lot” of the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton “was just the fastest car”.

After an early collision with Kevin Magnussen at the Spanish Grand Prix, which relegated him to P19, Lewis Hamilton pulled off an amazing recovery drive, ultimately finishing in P5.

In Mercedes’ race debrief, James Vowles strongly praised the Briton’s performance.

“Lewis did an incredible job,” Vowles said.

“It is very difficult to explain how hard it is when you are at the back of the grid, when you are last, when you are fighting through the field and you don’t know what you’re fighting for and it doesn’t necessarily help that we guide his with the fact that he is fighting for good points.

“For him, in the car right then, he could almost not even see a competitor ahead of him and the ones he could see were clearly out of the points.

“And yet he dug deep and every lap got quicker and quicker. Stint one built but stint two and stint there were incredible.

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“Where he finished is an accolade of his performance, the drive of a champion.”

As for Lewis’ collision with Magnussen, Vowles confirmed the only damage done to his car was a tyre puncture, which forced him to take an unscheduled pit stop.

“There was damage in as much that there was a puncture. So, obviously the tyre had failed but the aerodynamic structures were fine. The front wing was fine, the floor was fine, the rear wing was fine.

“And once we were able to bring Lewis back into the pits and change to another set of tyres his pace as you saw was very, very strong.

“In fact, for a lot of the race, he was just the fastest car,” Vowles concluded.

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