Montoya says he understands why Hamilton wanted to retire in Spain

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya says he understands why Lewis Hamilton asked Mercedes if they should retire his car, and adds “it was impressive to see Hamilton not give up”.

After getting hit by Kevin Magnussen at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton dropped down to P19. This prompted him to radio his team and ask them if it would be better to retire the car and save the engine.

The team said they still think he can get P8, but after an amazing recovery drive, Lewis ultimately got to P5.

This caused some observers to blast Lewis for ‘wanting to give up’, but Juan Pablo Montoya says he completely understands where the seven-time champion was coming from.

”It was weird that Hamilton suggested on the radio to park that car and kind of gave up,” the Colombian said.

“I understand why he did that. He’s driving at the back and the car wasn’t competitive in the last races.

“It was a surprise to him how quick the car was then in the race. If he hadn’t had the incident, he probably would’ve had a chance to win the race.


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“He started getting excited when he got in the points and he started to drive harder and harder.”

Montoya then said it was impressive to see Lewis regroup and put in an amazing performance.

”You just got hit on the first lap, you’ve driven a whole lap with a flat tyre and then your pit stop takes a long time.

“At that point you are sixty or seventy seconds behind the leader and you wonder what you’re going to achieve.

“If you look at it from Lewis’ point of view I can understand that, because he is used to having cars that can win races.

“The team made the right call and it was impressive to see Hamilton not give up.”

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