Lewis Hamilton’s victory in Singapore put him in the lead of the World Championship with five races to go, albeit by the slender margin of just three points over team mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton had to work hard for his win however after the safety car cost him his advantage, and left him with the job of building up a gap after the restart.
“Coming here and to the last six races with a great race in Monza, knowing that we had a car to compete here, obviously yesterday in qualifying it was very close between everyone so I didn’t really know what to expect today,” said Hamilton. “But I got off cleanly. Of course it would have been a hardcore race if Nico was in the race with me, as the car was feeling very good and we would have been very strong.”
Lewis admitted that he wasn’t sure how the strategy would unfold after the safety car, when he had to build a gap and pit for the prime tyre, while his main rivals could run to the flag.
“I think for me I was a bit unaware of what I needed to do. That second-to-last stint, I extended it as long as I could and then they said ‘we need 27s.’ And that was still six seconds I needed more, and my tyres were dropping off, so I didn’t really understand why. And I was also nervous that, if the Safety Car came out, would that cause me big problems? So anyway, fortunately we got to where I needed to go and we pitted.
“I came out, and I saw Sebastian going past but straight away I knew they were obviously doing a two-stop, I would have good pace. So, took it easy the first lap. It was actually a bit of a tight gap, maybe I should have overtaken him somewhere else. but fortunately Sebastian was very fair and I got by. After that it was quite straightforward. Amazing job from the team and the guys back at the factory. The car was really spectacular in the race.”
Regarding the championship he said: “I came here hoping to really gain those seven points, and anything more than that was just a bonus, so today, of course, those extra points are a huge help. That’s several DNFs we’ve had now on either car and we want to continue getting those one-twos still.
“I know that the team will not be 100 percent happy today because we want to win collectively, we want to get those one-twos, we want to be the dominant team all together, so by not getting that result, they’ll be going back to the drawing board trying to figure out what happened. They’re constantly coming up to things and perhaps other people are starting to be a bit more reliable than us so that’s an area that we can still definitely improve on.”