Lewis Hamilton claimed a sensational victory in Spain over Max Verstappen on Sunday, but the seven-time champion said one of the highlights of his Grand Prix was that he had “learned a lot” about his rival Red Bull who had fought him on track throughout.
Hamilton executed a surprise two-stop strategy to regain the lead from Verstappen at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit after the Dutchman gained the advantage off the line and into Turn 1 at the start, but the Briton came close to half the race to turn around a second. behind the rear diffuser of the Red Bull.
READ MORE: Late pass secures Hamilton victory in Spain after long-lasting battle with Verstappen
And, by staying so close to Verstappen in an exciting battle, the defending champion says he has gathered some very useful information about his rival.
“It was actually a very good day,” he said after taking the victory. “I learned a lot about Max today and maybe more than all the other races put together.”
Spanish Grand Prix 2021: Verstappen overtakes Hamilton at the start of the race
However, Hamilton remained shy when asked if he would like to expand on what he had learned about the Red Bull driver.
He replied: “Not particularly, no [laughs]. It was just … when you’re with people on the right track … you see different things and you can follow closely.
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“Obviously I was following relatively closely and learned a lot about his car and learned a lot about how he uses it. So it was a good race in that regard.”
What got Hamilton to the win, as he lost his lead before the first corner against Verstappen, was a two-stop strategy that saw Hamilton come out of second place for a new set of mediums and fill a 22-second gap. On lap 60, Hamilton was leading and winning by 15.8 seconds.
After the race, the seven-time champion praised Mercedes’ strategy – but admitted he wasn’t convinced if he could have made up that huge gap to overtake Verstappen on the track, and revealed that he was faced with a dilemma before going upstairs.
“Throughout the weekend, we had planned to make sure we had two mediums so that we could do a two-stop stop. Even though a single stop looked potentially better, I know from experience here that a one-stop-shop is very. , very difficult to remove.
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“And as soon as we got the pace we had, I knew as soon as I could overtake it, if I could, and I was about, I think, to have a chance to overtake it before I beat it. . right at the end and I was really in conflict, like: do I go in or ignore the call and stay away? But it’s a remarkable job from everyone on this team, although and through, and yeah what a day, ”he concluded.
The victory in Spain capped the best start to the season Hamilton has ever seen in F1 as he is now with 94 points in the table – up from 80 at Verstappen.