11 May 2014
Spanish F1 Grand Prix: Winner Hamilton concedes ‘Rosberg was quicker’
Lewis Hamilton says he was lucky to claim his fourth straight F1 win after denying Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Spain.
Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he was fortunate to win the Spanish Grand Prix, as Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg had the upper hand in terms of pace for much of the weekend.
Having led the way throughout Friday practice, overnight changes to the Briton's W05 Hybrid left him struggling to find the same balance on Saturday, and only further work and a stellar qualifying lap allowed him to claim pole position. From there, he was able to take the lead of the race but with Rosberg running a different tyre strategy, the pair came together on track in the final ten laps, setting up a thrilling finish to an otherwise quiet afternoon.
With Hamilton having to use the slower hard compound Pirelli for his final stint when Rosberg was back on the more potent mediums, the gap between them shrank until the German was able to call on the added assistance of DRS. The pair were nose-to-tail for the last couple of laps but, when Rosberg slightly over ran his approach to turn ten, Hamilton was safe, eventually crossing the line 0.6secs ahead of his team-mate.
“I wasn't really fast enough today,” the new championship leader confessed, “Nico was quicker. I struggled a lot with the balance and really had to rely on my engineers a lot more to give me the gaps and where I could find time - and also with all my settings… I was moving them up and down, up and down, trying to find extra time, but Nico was just generally quicker this weekend and I was fortunate to keep him behind.
“I had the same problems that I had yesterday, and it's strange because Friday FP2 was excellent - the car was really good and I was very fast, but today I wasn't able to attack the corners due to snap oversteer and that was where Nico was catching me, through the entry to the corners.”
There was more than one terse exchange between Hamilton and the pits as he realised that his lead was being eroded and, with Monaco next on the agenda – a race that Rosberg won comfortably last season – the Briton acknowledges that he cannot afford to rest on his laurels, even if he now has four wins on the bounce.
“I think we still have some work to do in the next couple of weeks,” he confirmed, “We struggled last year in Monaco and we struggled this race, so we need to figure out where I am losing time.
“At the rate the team is going, we are looking strong for at least a few more races but by no means is it easy for me as I have a massive challenge with Nico. I could never have imagined winning these four races, but it is still so close and there is a long, long way to go. I've got a bit more time to find in the car, so we have to work on it.”
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