But after storming to victory in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton insisted his passion for the sport is as strong as ever.
At the start, Lewis Hamilton darted out to a solid lead while Sebastian Vettel settled into the slipstream behind the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Valterri Bottas found himself on the second step of the podium, making it a Mercedes 1-2, with Max Verstappen bouncing back strongly from his Baku DNF in 3rd place.
Vettel was also the sole Ferrari driver to reach the chequered flag after team-mate Kimi Raikkonen lost power and eventually retired. In the Drivers’ Championship, Hamilton now enjoys a substantial lead over second-placed Vettel, with the Briton sitting on 95 points versus the German’s 78. “Race by race, we are understanding the tyres more”. “We don’t want to lose him and l don’t think he wants to go anywhere else”.
“I’m not trying to be amusing but I genuinely have no idea what they’re doing or what they’ve changed or what they’ve decided”. “There is nothing we could have done differently today, but we need to try and keep pushing”. We weren’t happy with the performance of the cars and we needed to sort things out.
“I would like to hope that this race could be part of a turning point”, said Hamilton. This weekend, we got ourselves on the right path.
“Hopefully we see some action and we take benefit from that”. “Red Bull are going to be rapid and very hard to beat”, he said.
F1 is in its second year under the ownership of USA -based Liberty Media, which has also been instilling changes to try to further promote the series.
“But having such a good weekend here and winning by a solid margin is very important for his confidence”. “I feel that if you understand something is getting wrong you should try to find a solution”.
“I think the last couple of races we were a bit closer in terms of pace, we had a auto fighting for the win, having winning pace”.
“Short term, we all had our updates for this race, maybe the others have brought more than us”.
Here, we look back at five things we learned from the opening leg of the European season. But what does it help? ‘The bottom line is that we were not quick enough, ‘ a rather glum Vettel conceded. That’s what we have to address. He would have won in China but for a safety vehicle before seeing a certain victory in Baku derailed by a puncture.
Hamilton, whose Barcelona pole time is three seconds faster than last year’s on a resurfaced track, expressed frustration that the 2019 rules will result in cars that are 1.5 seconds slower and “pull us back”.
And Ricciardo’s lap record is set to stand for a few seasons as next year’s regulations, which mandate a less complex front wing and simpler brake ducts, and a bigger rear wing, are expected to cut 1.5 seconds off lap times.