On the day he equalled the F1 record of race wins, Lewis Hamilton showed Michael Schumacher-like qualities in mastering his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
That is the view of Martin Brundle, who believes the World Champion was effectively in control of both Mercedes cars at the crucial juncture of the Eifel Grand Prix.
Bottas, who had started from pole position, generally had a lead of around 1.5 seconds over Hamilton in the opening part of the race after resisting a challenge from his colleague in the first couple of corners at the Nurburgring.
But on lap 13 of 60, Hamilton began eating into the Finn’s advantage and passed him after Bottas locked up at turn one, ran wide and flat-spotted his tyres, causing him to pit.
Five laps later, Bottas’ race was over as his car suffered a loss of power and Hamilton went on to secure his 91st Formula 1 race victory, putting him level with record-holder Schumacher.
Brundle, who was Schumacher’s team-mate with Benetton in 1992 – the German’s first full F1 season – thought the way in which Hamilton pressurised Bottas at exactly the right moment was akin to how the seven-time World Champion would also seize command of a situation.
“Michael was a pure winning machine in and out of the car,” said Brundle in his latest column for Sky Sports.
“All the right people wanted to be in his team and be part of the success because he was so fast, so good. He largely dominated his team-mates in and out of the car, whether he was using his right foot or his streetwise mental capacity and guile.
“Lewis is the same. A classic comment of his on Sunday post-race was that he could see Bottas was graining his front tyres and so he pushed. He was driving TWO Mercedes at that point, and sure enough under braking and also with a few spots of rain Valtteri locked his front wheel and ran wide.
“Valtteri made the comment that this gave Lewis advance warning of less grip, but whatever the circumstances Hamilton seized a lead he would not remotely relinquish despite ensuing safety cars.
“He threw Bottas a consolation prize after the race by complimenting his determination to regain the lead in turn two of the opening lap, which was indeed a fine piece of aggressive and precision driving.”