Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were smiling after the Miami Grand Prix, after both had a ‘fun’ race to decent points positions.
The seven-time World Champion came home in sixth place at the chequered flag in Miami, having had a much more enjoyable day on Sunday than on Saturday after being knocked out in Q2.
The W14 proved a much more competitive beast over a race distance, with Hamilton slowly but surely carving his way upward as the race progressed – particularly as the fuel load came down and he made the swap onto the Medium compound tyre.
Hamilton also played the team game, releasing George Russell past him in the middle of the race as Russell set off after higher points positions after starting from sixth on the grid.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton said he’d felt the car coming to life under him as the laps ticked by.
“I don’t really know about the strategy, I don’t know if that was optimum, or whether it could have been worse,” he told Sky F1, when asked about how Mercedes approached the Grand Prix.
“It was definitely difficult to start just being in a DRS train with a bunch of cars and trying to get past the Williams [Alex Albon], which is so quick on the straight, was not so easy.
“But eventually, I was able to start making headway, and then once I’d done the stop and I got back out on the [Medium, sic] is when I was able to really start to push.
“The car came a bit alive midway through the race, and I think to get from 13th to sixth – I’m pretty happy with that.
“Unfortunately, we started so far behind, but I enjoyed the race. I had a lot of fun just making my way through. It’s nice to be able to have a battle with people and good points for the team.
“So a big thank you to the team again this weekend for just keeping their head down and continuing to push even though we aren’t where we want to be. There’s still great morale within the team.”
George Russell: That was a satisfying race!
Russell came home in fourth place, having made the most of Hamilton’s willingness to cede position by storming past Carlos Sainz and Estaban Ocon shortly after.
“I’m feeling pumped, to be honest, because it’s been a little while since we’ve had a race like that where we made some good overtakes stick and, relatively speaking, were strong and I felt good in the car,” he said afterward.
“So yeah, for sure, it was a satisfying one – I would have liked to have been three positions higher, but we know the position we are in as a team right now and P4 was the maximum today.”
Having been broadcast on the world feed sing-songing the words “that’s how we roll” as he overtook Sainz, Russell laughed that he hadn’t been trying to sing at the time.
“I wasn’t really singing. I was like, ‘That’s how we roll’,” he said.
“I maybe said a little bit too quickly because I came out of the next sector and Carlos was right behind me with DRS. So I was thinking maybe I said that a little bit too prematurely!
“But it was a good day in the office. We’ll sit down with everybody tomorrow and see how we can move from here.”