Lewis Hamilton opens up on ‘horrible feeling’ and explains why he almost quit Spanish GP

F1: Spanish Grand Prix preview

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Lewis Hamilton has opened up on the ‘horrible feeling’ inside the car as he came back from ‘no man’s land’ to score points at the Spanish Grand Prix. Hamilton suffered a front left puncture after contact with Magnussen at turn four on the opening lap. 

Moments later, Hamilton asked his team if he could retire the car to save the engine but was warned there would still be opportunities later. The seven-time champion fought back from 19th to battle inside the top 10 and was on course for fourth before late mechanical issues dropped him to fifth.

He said: “Really unfortunate at the start with the punctures I got, but I didn’t give up, that’s what we do right. It’s a lot hotter than predicted today and for everyone it’s quite tough with these cars. I don’t know exactly what went on with the car but I basically had to drive it at half throttle trying to cool the car. 

“Gutted to lose the palce to Sainz, especially coming from where I came from, I was 30 seconds behind last place, that’s like no man’s land, it’s a horrible feeling being that far behind. You just have to keep your head up, keep pushing. 

“They said I could maybe get to eighth and eighth doesn’t feel like a particularly impressive result but at least I can get in the points. But to be fighting for fourth, I was so happy with that. If i didn’t have that issue at the beginning, who knows where I would be at the end.”

Mercedes had contacted both drivers through team radio urging them to coast at the end of the race to ensure they would finish. Slowing down forced Hamilton to drop a position to fifth but was still a double points finish for the Silver Arrows. 

The German manufacturer has seen a resurgence this weekend and have looked on the pace of the leaders all weekend. They were only a couple of tenths slower than Red Bull and Ferrari as they pull away from the midfield battle. 

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Hamilton now lies sixth in the standings, 64 points behind new leader Max Verstappen.

Team-mate George Russell picked up his second Mercedes podium with a third-placed finish. The result maintains his record of finishing in the top-five at every Grand Prix and ensures he remains in the title fight. 

The 24-year-old now sits just 36 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ standings.

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