Lewis Hamilton has played down the significance of his recovery to third place at Spa, and insists that the result didn’t give him any kind of psychological boost over Nico Rosberg by getting such a good finish from 21st on the grid.
However he admits it was good to get the grid penalties behind him, and that he is now free to race Rosberg on equal terms this weekend.
“It was obviously an important race for me, and I got what I needed from it, and more,” said Hamilton. “It’s not done anything psychologically, it’s been a positive, and I’ll move on. The penalties are done, the free weekend kind of thing for the opponent is past, and hopefully I can put into action… I mean free from battle. Hopefully now I’ll get to fight, and it’s a race from here.”
Hamilton said that having a stock of fresh engines did not give him a particular advantage compared to earlier in the season, even though he was mindful of engine mileage before the summer break.
“Honestly I don’t feel any different now to what I did in Hungary. I guess perhaps subconsciously in Hungary I never knew if the engine was going to make it. But that’s still a question today, you hope with fresh engines that you are in a good position, but all sorts of things have happened. I had fresh engines earlier on in the season, so we’re not really in a different position except I’m hopefully not at risk of any particular penalties. The engine’s upgraded for reliability, so we should be in a good position. Now I can hopefully focus on getting my head down and getting back to the way I was driving before the break.”
Hamilton insists he is not worried about the possibility of Rosberg being able to to take a upgraded engine in the coming weeks.
“I’m happy with the phase that we have, I’m happy to run that for the rest of the year, and if there’s an upgrade I’m not bothered to take it. I can win with the ones I have. Usually upgrades are reliability, and if they are, it’s often small steps. That I’m not concerned about.”
Meanwhile he declined to talk about the issue of high tyre pressure at Monza, having been critical at Spa about the impact on Mercedes.
“Unfortunately I’ve decided to take a sabbatical from talking about tyres! There seem to be some emotional people about it, so unfortunately I won’t be able to answer too much more about it. If the weather’s the same as the last race – we don’t have any high speed corners – but I’m told it may continue. Honestly I have no idea at the moment.”