Lewis Hamilton felt he was “in a daze” during his crushing Spanish Grand Prix victory on Sunday that extended his lead at the top of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship.
Hamilton led every lap of the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, crossing the line more than 20 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second place.
The result saw Hamilton extend his championship lead to 37 points over Verstappen, and become the all-time record holder for the most podium finishes in F1 with 156.
Coming just one week after Mercedes lost to Red Bull following tyre management struggles at Silverstone, Hamilton felt the win was a surprise, and revealed he was not aware he was on the final lap of the race.
“I was just in a daze out there. I was in a different [zone], I felt really good,” Hamilton said. “Fantastic effort from the team, but God, it felt good out there today.
“It was a real surprise, because we had this problem with the tyres. Management was very, very good.
“That’s ultimately our understanding of what happened last week, that we brought into this weekend, has inevitably enabled us to do what we did today.
“I didn’t even know it was the last lap at the end. That’s how zoned in I was. I was ready to keep going.”
Mercedes had feared a repeat of its Silverstone tyre struggles due to the high track temperatures in Spain that reached 50ºC during the race.
But Hamilton found he was able to extend the stints longer than he expected, even making him consider a risky one-stop strategy at the end.
He ultimately overruled the team’s wish to fit him with the soft compound tyre for the final stint, taking another set of mediums that saw him to the chequered flag.
“It’s something I studied very hard before the race, understanding what tyres we were going to be using and what strategy we were going to do,” Hamilton said.
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