"I'm proud of my performance today," said Lewis Hamilton after he battled from dead last on the Circuit de Catalunya grid to finish in eighth place ahead of his team mate Jenson Button, only just missing out on stealing seventh place from Mercedes Nico Rosberg in a last-corner lunge to the chequered flag.

"Proud of the team too. They did a great job - a real improvement with the pitstops, following our difficulties in that area recently," he added. "All in all, then, I think today's result was the best we could do."

A large part of Hamilton's success in Barcelona rested on him making the two-stop strategy work, where no one else could, not even Button who is routinely described as being smooth and kind to his tyres.

"I was the only driver to attempt a two-stop strategy, and I'm glad I was able to made it work," said Hamilton. "People often say that I have an aggressive driving style, but my final stint on the prime tyre was 31 laps, so I reckon I proved today that I can make tyres last!"

It was a point well made, on a day that for Hamilton and McLaren was all about bouncing back from adversity on Saturday.

"For Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, following our disappointments yesterday, today was always going to be about recovery, said team principal Martin Whitmarsh. "Lewis, having started in 24th and last place following his qualifying penalty yesterday, drove an absolutely storming race to eighth place at the chequered flag, all but catching and passing Nico for seventh place on the final lap.

"Lewis was the only driver to make a two-stop strategy work today," pointed out Whitmarsh. "Given that his race strategy called for him to drive exceptionally hard and extremely fast in heavy traffic all afternoon, pulling off some sensational passing manoeuvres on a circuit on which overtaking is notoriously difficult, [that] was a truly magnificent feat."

In Whitmarsh's view, Hamilton had never driven better than he had this weekend.

"Make no mistake about it, the 2012 Santander Spanish Grand Prix was one of the most impressive races that Lewis has ever driven," said Whitmarsh. "His performance combined fabulous verve with commendable caution. I'd go so far as to say that, rising above the frustration he inevitably felt yesterday evening, he's inspired each and every one of us at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes with his stirring drive today."

Whitmarsh said that thanks to Hamilton's example, the team had picked themselves up from the depths of despair after losing pole on Saturday evening and were now reenergised looking forward to the next event.

"[Lewis] is only eight points behind the leader in the Drivers' World Championship, and he loves the Monaco Grand Prix, the next stop on the World Championship calendar," Whitmarsh said.

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