It has been a while since Lewis Hamilton dominated a race as he did the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, his second win of the season puts him 17 points ahead of his closest championship challenger and the manner in which it was accomplished sends an ominous message to his rivals.
After the race in Barcelona he spoke on the podium and during the press conference, this is what he had to say:
What an absolute masterclass. You had an answer for everybody today out on track…
Lewis Hamilton: Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done it without this incredible team. These guys have done an amazing job and I’m just really proud of everyone. Today, the car and myself, I felt that synergy today, which I hadn’t been feeling for the whole year, so it’s a good feeling.
Back-to-back wins, is this where Mercedes’ season really kick-starts and you take the fight to Ferrari?
LH: This is when we are going to start trying to continue to apply the pressure. A 1-2 for the team. We have the Mercedes board here with us who have been supporting us from day one, so it’s great to have them all here and see that true force within the team – strength in depth. So I hope we can continue. And a big thank you to all the fans that have come out because the fans have been incredible, as they always are here, and I’m glad the weather stayed good.
We often say the season really starts in the Spanish Grand Prix. Do you think it can be a turning point in the Mercedes versus Ferrari fight?
LH: I think it’s obviously a little bit early to say but I would like to hope that it could be part of a turning point. There is… race by race we’re understanding the tyres more, which is a bit battle for everyone. We could just as easily go to the next race and struggle getting our tyres working and be nowhere. So, it’s a little bit early to say. We do after the five races now have a much, much better understanding of the car, of what we need to do to get the car to be working – but we still have learning to do, improvements to be made. We still need to add performance to the car throughout the year, so that’s what we’re going to be continuing to be working on.
Looking back at the weekend, do you think the three tyre compounds available were too similar?
LH: It was a very easy one-stop here and the tyres were very very similar but we have already spoken to Charlie. We spoke with Charlie and we spoke about potential options for next year or even later on this year, spreading the compounds out a little bit, making it a bit more racy. It was just so difficult to overtake. I was on fresher tyres than Max. These cars, more so maybe at this track, but following is even worse than I can remember before. Being that it was really windy, as soon as you get like four seconds behind, you start to feel – it’s a long distance, it’s like a hundred meters or something, maybe more – behind another car and you can feel the effect of the car ahead. You shouldn’t be able to feel it until you get right up their tail but it starts affecting the car already and you start to lose the momentum as you get closer and with these tyres… I think at the time I had a harder tyre which was slower so I couldn’t catch and overtake, even though I had much much younger tyres. So the fundamentals definitely aren’t right and need to be improved. Hopefully they’ll do something more exciting later on in the year.
You just broke another Michael Schumacher record, winning 41 races from pole position. Those records are probably going to keep coming, so is it important for you? How do you feel about it?
LH: Well, I didn’t know about it so… It’s still very surreal. It just doesn’t register because I remember like it was yesterday, sitting at home, playing this computer game as Michael! Literally, on the Saturday and Sunday, there was this game that you could do the whole Thursday, Friday practice and then Saturday qualifying and everything like that, and I used to do the whole process through the weekend on this computer. I didn’t have a steering wheel, I did it on two keys and I remember playing as Michael, so it’s just very surreal to think that I’m… it just still is very very surreal to think that every now and then I keep coming up against Michael in terms of records and it just reminds me of just what a great he was. It’s taken a long time to be where I am today and he has some serious records and it’s hard to beat a lot of these records that he had so to match it… it’s always an honour when his name is brought and mine is brought up at the same time.