Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was quite proud of his fightback to second in the British Grand Prix. He said that it was “huge” for Mercedes as it minimised race winner Sebastian Vettel’s championship gain.
As a result of Hamilton’s charge, Vettel could only extend his lead to eight points. This was all inspite of the fact that Hamilton dropped to 18th after colliding with the other Ferrari.
“We’re in a tough battle this year and it’s the most intense battle that I think we’ve probably all had,” said Hamilton.
“I’m very, very grateful that the car was still in one piece after the first turn three incident.
“Whilst I appeared, at the beginning, to have lost something on the rear end, when I looked at the car afterwards it seems to be OK and it was driving better and better throughout the race, so that was a great thing.
“Honestly, to get back to second it’s huge for us. I will definitely take it, of course, and I’m happy with the drive that I did.”
Lewis Hamilton initially sounded disgruntled over the Mercedes team radio over the incident. In addition to the frustration over the contact he was also concerned about damage to his car.
His engineer Peter Bonnington attempted to pacify the four-time world champion and encouraging him to fight back.
He managed to finish second after Mercedes opted not to pit him and teammate Valtteri Bottas for fresh tyres under the safety car. Although it handed them track position against the Ferraris, they were vulnerable towards the end.
Admittedly, Bottas was worse off, falling from first to fourth as his mediums faded. But Hamilton was able to pass his teammate and keep Raikkonen at bay.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff defended the strategy saying, “I think it was absolutely the right decision to do.
“There was 15 or 16 laps to the end, we were on quite fresh mediums that would last and gaining track position was the important one for us.
“Doing the opposite [to Ferrari] was the choice we went for and in the end it brought us a P2 and P4.
“Considering how the race started we need to accept the result as an OK outcome, as damage limitation.”