Mercedes pitted Lewis Hamilton for second time before he chased down Max Verstappen; “I was really conflicted,” admitted Hamilton. “Do I come in or I do ignore the call and stay out?”; Hamilton extends his title lead to 14 points

Last Updated: 09/05/21 4:47pm











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Lewis Hamilton gets past his championship rival Max Verstappen to take the lead in the Spanish Grand Prix with six laps to go

Lewis Hamilton gets past his championship rival Max Verstappen to take the lead in the Spanish Grand Prix with six laps to go

Lewis Hamilton has paid tribute to Mercedes’ strategy “gamble” at the Spanish GP after chasing down Max Verstappen for victory – even though he admitted he was “conflicted” on whether to ignore the team’s call.

Hamilton was trailing just behind Verstappen for most of Sunday’s race despite appearing to have a faster car, but Mercedes made a critical decision with on Lap 43 of 66 by pitting the Englishman for a second time.

The stop dropped Hamilton down to third and some 23 seconds behind Verstappen, but on new tyres the F1 world champion charged back towards the Red Bull before a comfortable overtake in the closing laps.

“I was just hunting,” said Hamilton, who was passed by Verstappen on the opening lap. “I was so close for so long and I didn’t think in doing that I was going to be able to make the tyres last – but I just managed to.

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Lewis Hamilton goes past team-mate Valtteri Bottas – but he was made to work for it!

Lewis Hamilton goes past team-mate Valtteri Bottas – but he was made to work for it!

“It was a long way to come back from 20 odd seconds back but it was a good gamble, a really great strategy from the team.”

He added to Sky F1: “When I came in I thought, ‘jeeze that’s a long way to catch up’. It’s a big gamble. Obviously we had to really execute it perfectly and I think we did together.”

Hamilton looked likely to pull off an on-track overtake just before Mercedes called him in.

“I was really conflicted,” he admitted. “Do I come in or I do ignore the call and stay out?

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Max Verstappen is the early race leader in the Spanish Grand Prix after out-manoeuvring Lewis Hamilton on the first corner

Max Verstappen is the early race leader in the Spanish Grand Prix after out-manoeuvring Lewis Hamilton on the first corner

“Obviously I did what the team asked and naturally that’s because there’s a great trust between us.

“Just a remarkable job by everyone in this team. What a day.”

More to follow.





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