Lewis Hamilton has insisted he won the United States Grand Prix despite having a car that was down on power compared with Nico Rosberg, even though Toto Wolff maintains he wasn't.
In a year that has seen Hamilton contend with niggling reliability issues, most dramatically his engine blow whilst leading the Malaysian Grand Prix, Hamilton has made numerous reference to concerns about the durability of his Mercedes package at this critical point in the season.
Though a first win since July's German Grand Prix sees him close the gap to Rosberg to 26 points, Hamilton admits he is struggling to shake the thought that his car could fail on him after claiming to have suffered more issues in qualifying.
“The whole race I couldn't get my mind off the reliability issue because we had another problem during qualifying, so I was down on power to Nico today which would have cost me two seconds,” he told Sky F1
. “I was conscious that down the straight I was half throttle just 'please don't go'. Fortunately it didn't and it is great result for the team.”
Indeed, while Mercedes F1 boss Wolff dismissed the suggestion that Hamilton's car was compromised, the defending champion remains insistent.
“I was [down on power]. It was calculated that I would lose about 1 to 1.8secs in the race. I was definitely down on power. I didn't know if I was going to make it. That was my biggest concern the whole way. It is the reliability issues we seem to have had…
Despite this, Hamilton says his performance in Texas has left him confident for the final races and positive about the future regardless of whether he is able to overhaul Rosberg.
“If I finish the season driving like this, feeling like this, then I can go into my winter positive either way.”
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