Lewis Hamilton finally eased into the lead of the 2014 World Championship with his fourth straight victory of the season in Spain.
Hamilton didn’t have it easy, as he had to work hard to stay clear of Nico Rosberg in the closing laps, when the latter was on the more competitive medium tyre and Lewis was on the hard. He also wasn’t entirely happy with the balance of his car, which led to some terse radio traffic with his engineer.
“I did have the same problems as I had yesterday,” said Hamilton. “It was very strange because Friday P2 was excellent. The car was really good. As for degradation I was very very fast and I stopped my run with 18 laps or something like that, but if I just brought my pace down a little bit I probably could have eked it out even longer. Those changes just transformed the car and today, I was just not able to attack the corners due to snap oversteer, and that’s generally where Nico was catching me, through those entries of corners.”
Despite his run of success Hamilton is keeping a lid on expectations.
“At the rate the team’s going, we’re looking strong for at least a few more races. It’s by no means easy for me because I’ve still got a massive challenge with Nico. But, I mean, I could never had imagined winning these four races but it’s still so close, long, long way to go and, just as I was saying earlier, I’ve got a bit more time to find in this car, so going to work on it.”
Regarding what Mercedes has done right, he said: “There is no secret really, it’s just been hard work and really constructive work. Often when you’re working towards something, sometimes you stumble and fall and then you have to build it again and the team has just been building and building, building and not really having many times when they’re falling. It’s quite remarkable, the actual car itself, the downforce is very good, I’m sure very very close with the Red Bulls and then with the engine, it’s the best engine Mercedes have made.”
He also made some interesting comments on how this year’s car is more tailored to his requirements than the previous model.
“It’s a lengthy process. Obviously last year. when you request something to be changed, it takes some time, because obviously you don’t want to take away their focus from the most important things which is getting downforce. I think it’s just taken some time. I think Michael required had a different driving style to me. He required different things, different seating position, different set-up. I guess Nico and Michael both kind of gelled and went in one direction with the balance.
“And then as I’ve come along, mine is slightly different, and I guess we’ve then created a hybrid: Nico’s come halfway, I’ve come halfway, so we now require the same things from the car. But last year it was maybe a little bit different and so over the time just really, for the engineers to get to know what I require from a car and I think really working on being comfortable with the engineers as well, new engineers, it takes a while to build those relationships and that’s probably been a key strength to this year.”