Hamilton wanted a gap more than fastest lap

Date published: May 14 2019

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton wasn’t so much going for fastest lap in Spain as trying to get a gap between himself and Valtteri Bottas.

This season Formula 1 introduced a point for fastest lap, totalling 21 points for the season.

Hamilton, though, has stated that he’s not interested in that point. Rather his goal at every race is to get the 25 for the victory.

He managed both on Sunday in Spain.

However, it wasn’t his initial goal.

“I knew going into the race that we were targeting a one-stop,” Hamilton told Autosport.

“And if I’d come out from my pit stop and I’d pushed for a lap it would have been something like two seconds slower than someone at the end of the race doing an extra stop.

“So it was pointless pushing then.

“Then the Safety Car came out and that created a new window.”

That window was a golden one for Bottas as, bunching up the field, it meant he was right on Hamilton’s rear wing and could therefore use the tow to challenge for the lead.

As such Hamilton, on fresh rubber having pitted under the Safety Car, laid down a fastest lap to put some space between himself and his team-mate.

He said he was focused on “getting the gap between myself and him, because naturally the Safety Car creates a new opportunity to make mistakes, for Valtteri to get up close, and tow me.”

But with Bottas also keen on that point, Hamilton decided he actually did want it.

“I was about to go for it again, but they [Mercedes] said that I had it,” he said, adding that it was “definitely a bonus on top of everything”.

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