Lewis Hamilton has emphasised the ease with which he claimed a dominant victory in the German Grand Prix by revealing he turned down his engine after only two laps in an effort to preserve it.
Despite being beaten to pole position by Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg, Hamilton got the jump at the start and proceeded to lead every lap thereafter as he comfortably managed the pace back to the feuding Red Bulls behind him.
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Crossing the line a 6.9s winner over Daniel Ricciardo, Hamilton says his comfort in the car allowed him to ease back remarkably early on before getting back up to speed when he needed to around the pit-stops.
“I turned down my engine pretty much from the second, third lap, I think it was,” he said. “From very early on I had already turned it down and then when he said 'it's hammer time' I was able to switch it back on and eke out the gap when needed.
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“At the end I was trying to make that engine go as far as possible and when you turn it down it's just easier on the engine, rather than using all the horses.”
“I was 11 seconds ahead and I just took it really easy on my tyres. It got down to five, something like that, and I thought 'OK, probably got to get back on it now', which I did. I don't remember if I opened it up again after that but I felt fully in control the whole race, fortunately, which is not always a scenario you're in.”
It comes as Hamilton and Mercedes sit down to decide whether to take a strategic engine penalty in Spa or Monza owing to the fact the championship leader is on his final allocated power unit. Any engine change from here will see Hamilton penalised with a grid penalty, with Spa and Monza considered the best opportunity to recover ground.
“You keep a few [horses] on the side and I was hoping to prolong the life … You just don't know when it's going to go, none of us do. I just wanted to treat it as well as I could and that's what I was doing.”
RACE REPORT – Hamilton romps to another win as Rosberg penalised