Lewis Hamilton was fighting for victory in Barcelona!

(Motorsport-Total.com) – You may ask yourself more than ever at a Mercedes in Barcelona: What if? What if Lewis Hamilton didn’t hit Kevin Magnussen on the first lap and got punctured? Motorsport chief Toto Wolff makes a bold thesis about Skye: “Lewis’ pace was so strong that he would have been fighting for victory.”

Lewis Hamilton plowing the field


It might seem odd given the mixed speed that Mercedes – and Hamilton in particular – showed in the season’s opening races, but the Austrian based his theory on one thing: numbers.

After a puncture on the first lap and a forced stop, Hamilton was 54 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen. On lap 62, he was only 39 seconds behind the Red Bull driver. That means he won 15 seconds over the dominant winner before trouble in the closing stages.

But this opens up follow-up questions: What’s the truth about the statements, and why didn’t George Russell fight for victory, which came through the race without incident and finished 33 seconds behind Verstappen?

On the first point, Wolff must admit that Hamilton “may” have gone along with Verstappen, “but perhaps not against Leclerc”. The Ferrari driver had to stop his car prematurely due to problems with the power unit when he was in the lead. So at least Mercedes couldn’t have won alone.

Especially since Verstappen also had issues with the DRS and was stopped by Russell without being able to show his true pace. But the question regarding Hamilton’s possible victory can only be answered hypothetically, because without the collision he was following a completely different strategy than all the other 19 drivers – namely at the start on the average.

Why was he so much faster than Russell?

But why did he manage to gain so much time over his teammate over the course of the race? His pace was much worse than that of Red Bull and Ferrari. But this appears to be in fact a consequence of the wormhole and Hamilton’s subsequent position. Because Hamilton really wanted to give up racing.

“Lewis was angry at the time,” Wolff says on “ORF.” “He also looked at the limits a little less in terms of tires and got faster, faster and then sometimes faster than the front tyres.”

Mercedes in a strong race in Barcelona: ‘I would have gone to win’

Mercedes is back in the top ranks in Barcelona. Team boss Toto Wolff declares war on Ferrari and Red Bull.

At Russell, on the other hand, they did a lot of tire management and thus lost their grip, explains Wolff. “Whereas Lewis claimed the tire recklessly and was always putting it in the window as a result.”

The fact that he even managed to overtake Carlos Sainz with the same tires in the end makes the motorsport chief confident that Mercedes has taken the right steps: “Actually I am very satisfied, but of course I am not cheerful, ecstatic. But we have taken a huge step forward. We have freed ourselves from Midline “.

Silk thread is back

However, towards the end of the race, there were again major concerns about reliability. At the final stage, Mercedes instructed its drivers not to push themselves to the limit, otherwise there is a risk of retirement.

“We had a water leak in Lewis and it was really touch and go, whether we completed it,” says Wolf. On the other hand, Russell was overheated. This causes a little headache for Mercedes.

“The bad news is that this was the ultimate in cooling we’ve had,” explains Wolf. If the team outfitted the W13 with a larger cooling system, that would mean another loss of performance. “But we were really open to the max and I’m not sure if our engine ever survived.”

Hamilton: “Never give up”

But that’s another matter. At least the W13 appears to be doing better now than it was at the start of the season, when Hamilton finished 10th in Jeddah and finished without points at Imola without incident.

“Yeah, everything has been tough since the last race last year,” Hamilton notes. “We’ve had big problems and setbacks and haven’t had much luck overall. But we recovered, kept moving forward and never gave up.”

Says the seven-time world champion, for whom the race was a “win”.

“To be honest, it usually feels better when you come from behind a lot and have been through a lot,” he adds.

Are there wins this year?

Hamilton talks about a five-year-old girl he spoke to yesterday who was terminally ill. “She asked me if I could win the race for her, so I said, ‘I don’t know if I can win, but I will do my best.’ So for me it was like a victory that I dedicate to her.”

Russell after a strong performance for Barcelona: “She gave them fire”

George Russell and Mercedes are back at the top of Formula 1 in Barcelona.

Barcelona’s performance at least gives him confidence that he can still win this season. Because Mercedes has improved a lot, especially in racing. You have to prove it now in the qualifiers, as I had a run with George Russell this weekend which worked better for him.

“Maybe I’ll go in that direction in the next race. But at least it’s a great sign that we’re on the right track,” confirms Hamilton. “Because if it weren’t for today, I would have fought with the Red Bulls. It gives me hope that one day we will fight for victory.”

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