Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has said he 'did as good as he could' today in the German Grand Prix as he charged back from P20 on the grid to finish third and take the final spot on the podium.
Hamilton was up against it coming into the race after a front-right disc brake failure on Saturday in qualifying left him firmly on the backfoot, when he crashed heavily in Q1 and ended up in the barriers.
However he put in an extremely aggressive drive today and stormed through the pack, with some real 'do-or-die' moves at times, particularly one early on when he dived down the inside of Kimi Raikkonen, lightly touching the Ferrari as he locked up and also got by Daniel Ricciardo at the same time.
His luck ran out later on though, when he went to pass former team-mate, Jenson Button, only for the two to touch, leaving Hamilton with a mangled left front wing endplate.
Mercedes then changed the strategy and Hamilton was able to keep fighting, closing right up on Valtteri Bottas near the end, although he was unable to pass the Williams driver and take second.
“I had great fun. It was great to see how many fans we had here today – thank you so much for the support. I did as good as I could today,” Hamilton said on the rostrum. “It was very hard to get through the pack safely. I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson. I honestly thought that he was opening the door to let me past. He has been a bit like that in the last race for example. It was my bad judgement there.
“It was very hard to overtake Valtteri at the end [too]. They [the Williams'] are very fast on the straights.
“But nonetheless I am glad I got some points today,” he added.
Asked how much the incident with Button had hurt his chances of doing more than third, Hamilton replied: “I couldn't tell you. The car was a little bit different. I lost quite a bit of downforce [as a result]. But nevertheless to still get some points today I am grateful and [overall I am] very happy with the car Mercedes provided us with. To get from 20th to third and be on the podium is a great feeling, especially after such a bad start.
“Congratulations to Nico [on the win]. It is fantastic for him on his home soil and also for Mercedes-Benz.
“I'm glad I could have some positives [too].”
As for if he took a few too many risks, Hamilton didn't think that was the case: “It was pretty straight forward,” he continued. “I don't remember any difficult battles. Probably the best one was with the Ferrari. Then I was just a little bit unfortunate with Jenson.
“Jenson has been great over the last few races. He has not particularly given me a hard time when I have come to overtake. He had kind of given me space. I went to go on the inside but I didn't think I was going to make it and it looked like he went wide. I tried taking the corner and he cut back in and we collided. I hope I didn't hurt his race.”
“I am just grateful I was able to get close and up into the top. When you are starting next to last at the beginning of the race you can't imagine being on the podium. It is a great day otherwise,” he added.
Hamilton now trails race winner Nico Rosberg by 14 points in the Drivers' Championship - it had been down to just four points after Silverstone - so was it a case of glass half-full or half empty at the end of the grand prix? “Well, I don't really know how to answer that really,” Hamilton continued. “To come from last and get on the podium is quite an achievement really... so, perhaps half-full.”
F1 now heads straight to Hungary next for round eleven, and Hamilton has a good record there, having won in Budapest four times in total in F1 – twice in the last two years.
“If I have ever been fortunate it is at that race. I get great support there from the fans and it is a track I really, really enjoy. It suits my driving style a little bit more than some and it is a circuit where you can really attack [too],” he concluded.