Lewis Hamilton would have fought for the victory in Barcelona!

(Motorsport-Total.com) – More than ever you can ask yourself at Mercedes in Barcelona: What if? What if Lewis Hamilton had not collided with Kevin Magnussen in the first place and had received the puncture? Head of Motorsport Toto Wolff puts forward a bold thesis on ‘Sky’: “Lewis’ pace was so strong he would have fought for the victory.”

Lewis Hamilton literally plowed through the field

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It may sound strange given the mixed pace Mercedes – and Hamilton in particular – have shown in the opening race of the season, but the Austrian bases his theory on one thing: numbers.

After the puncture on the first lap and the forced pit stop, Hamilton was 54 seconds behind the race winner Max Verstappen. At lap 62, however, he was only 39 seconds behind the Red Bull driver. That means he got 15 seconds on the dominant winner before the problems in the final phase.

However, this opens up follow-up questions: What is the truth of the statements, and why did George Russell not fight for the victory, which came through the race without incident and finished almost 33 seconds behind Verstappen?

On the first point, Wolff must admit that Hamilton “probably” would have followed Verstappen, “but perhaps not against Leclerc”. The Ferrari driver had to park his car prematurely with problems with the engine unit as he was in the lead. So at least Mercedes could hardly have won alone.

Especially since Verstappen also had problems with DRS and was held up by Russell without being able to show his true pace. But the question of a possible Hamilton victory can only be answered hypothetically, as without the collision he was on a completely different strategy than all 19 other drivers – namely at the start of the medium.

Why was he so much faster than Russell?

But why was he able to gain so much time over his teammate during the race? He had a much worse pace than Red Bull and Ferrari. But it actually appears to be a consequence of the puncture and Hamilton’s subsequent stance. Because Hamilton actually wanted to give up the race.

“Lewis was grumpy back then,” Wolff says on ‘ORF’. “He also looked less at the boundaries in terms of tires, and just got faster and faster and sometimes faster than the front ones.”


Mercedes with a strong race in Barcelona: “Would have gone after the victory”

Mercedes is back in the top ranks of Barcelona. Team manager Toto Wolff with a declaration of war against Ferrari and Red Bull.

At Russell, on the other hand, they made too much tire control and consequently lost traction, as Wolff explains. “While Lewis has claimed the tire ruthlessly and always had it in the window as a result.”

That he could even overtake Carlos Sainz with the same tires in the end, the motorsport manager makes sure Mercedes has taken the right steps: “I’m actually very pleased, but of course not euphoric, ecstatic. But we” have taken a big step forward . We have freed ourselves from midfield, “he said.

The silk thread is back

Towards the end of the race, however, there were again major concerns about reliability. In the final phase, Mercedes instructed its two drivers not to push themselves to the limit, as otherwise there would be a risk of retiring.

“We had a water leak at Lewis and it was really touch and go, whether or not we finish it at all,” Wolff says. Russell, on the other hand, was simply overheated. And that gives Mercedes a little headache.

“The bad news is that it was the maximum cooling we have,” Wolff explains. If the team were to equip the W13 with an even larger cooling system, it would mean another loss in performance. “But we were already open to the maximum, and I’m not sure if our engine survived at all.”

Hamilton: “Never gave up”

But that’s another topic. At least W13 seems to be doing better now than it did at the start of the season when Hamilton finished in tenth place in Jeddah and finished without points in Imola without incident.

“Yes, everything has been difficult since last race last year,” Hamilton notes. “We’ve had big problems and setbacks and not much luck in general. But we came up again, kept going and never gave up.”

“We started the race positively and then had the problem again. And then it feels like coming back as it used to be in previous races. It feels great,” says the seven-time world champion, for whom the race was “like a victory” “..

“To be honest,” he adds, “it usually feels even better when you get so far behind and have been through so much.”

Are there victories this year?

Hamilton tells of a five-year-old girl he spoke to yesterday who was terminally ill. “She asked if I could win the race for her. I said, ‘I do not know if I can win, but I will give everything.’ So for me, it was like a victory that I dedicate to her. “


Russell after strong Barcelona GP: “Gave them fire to the ass”

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

Barcelona’s performance gives him at least confidence that he can still win this season. For Mercedes has improved a lot, especially in the race. You have to show that now in qualifying, where you did an experiment with George Russell over the weekend that went better for him.

“Maybe I’m going in that direction at the next race. But it’s at least a good sign that we’re on the right track,” Hamilton stressed. “Because if it had not been for today, I would have fought the Red Bulls. It gives me hope that one day we will fight for the victory.”

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