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Monaco GP | Post Race Press Conference - Lewis Hamilton: "I was fighting with the spirit of Niki"

The podium finishers of the Monaco GP face the press after the podium celebratons.

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Monaco GP | Post Race Press Conference - Lewis Hamilton: "I was fighting with the spirit of Niki"
Fuente imagen: Marika Laselva

After a long race holding back Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton enjoyied his victory with a cool dip in Monaco's pool.
After that, he faced the press with Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.

"That was definitely probably the hardest race I’ve had. I really was fighting with the spirit of Niki. Niki has been such an influential person in our team, helping us get to where we are, so I know he will be looking down and I know he would take his hat off today. I was just trying to stay focused and trying to make him proud. That’s kind of been the goal all week and we’re going to try to continue that all year. We truly miss him. Oh God, that was… I’ve not driven on empty tyres since I think Shanghai 2007, when McLaren left me out for a ridiculous amount of time. Really fantastic. I’m glad the weather was good. Great crowd here, as always, and I hope it wasn’t too boring."


"I was either going to crash or finish. Honestly I was driving around on nothing. You could see how much understeer I had; the car wasn’t turning."

Hamilton could clearly feel Niki Lauda's presence and spirit trough all the race. 

"I definitely feel like he was with my racing today. I mean, naturally I wore his helmet. I had a helmet made, last minute, a big thank you to the guys at Bell Racing getting that done for me. I don’t think I’ve ever worn anyone else’s helmet design. Of course I’ve but a bit of Senna’s Senna S mixed with mine, so it was kinda cool. I think Sebastian had one like it too. It was great that so many drivers, we all got to wear the caps – I don’t know where my cap’s gone."

And he actually lost it in the pool.

Sebastian Vettel started 4th on the grid, earned one place during the race, but ended up second thanks to Max Verstappen's penalty. 

"It was obviously a tough race to manage. You know in Monaco something can always happen and today something happened. I thought we had a good stop but Max had an incredible stop. I saw them touching in the pit lane. I thought there was a good chance for me, obviously we could capitalise on Valtteri’s puncture, which was a shame for him, but from there we tried to stay there, we tried to put the pressure on." Explained the four time world champion. "Obviously with Max’s penalty after that we tried to always stay in range. I struggled a little bit towards the end of the race. I wanted to put a bit of pressure on myself but I struggled with my rear tyres. I don’t think I had any graining. I think Lewis and Max were in a worse position managing the tyres, but mine were just not getting hot. I don’t know. It was obviously a great result for us and great for the team. But we know we have a lot of work to do, we know that we are not yet quick enough compared to these guys, so plenty of work. Finally, today is obviously about the winner, so congrats to Lewis, but even more so about Niki. He would be happy today. He will always be around. We will definitely miss him. I think he has been an icon in the past and he will be in the future. My thoughts are with his family and with him."

"Obviously we didn’t quite expect that, but the way the race went we were able to benefit from mistakes other people made. Obviously Valtteri got squeezed in the pit lane and then had a puncture and we were able to get that position and with the penalty Max had it was just about to stay in range. Two laps to go I had, I think, Antonio Giovinazzi, and I didn’t quite know if he would let me go, and I lost like two and a half seconds. So I was thinking, ‘I’m queuing here the whole race’, because I could see that Lewis was struggling, ‘and all of a sudden you lose three seconds’, and it was obviously the target to stay within these five seconds, but it wasn’t a problem until the end. Good result, but not a good weekend for us. Obviously to lose one car yesterday in Q1 and I’m not sure what happened today with Charles, but it’s always difficult when you start further back. So not the luckiest race for us as a team, but I think the lesson from here is that we are not yet where we want to be, the pace isn’t there. I think today we sort of tumbled into second place. So we did everything we could but certainly we didn’t have the pace to put the pressure on and go for a bit more."

Valtteri Bottas was never able to put pressure on the top 3. The key element to his race was the pit stop and the incident he was involved with Max Verstappen.

"That was really the thing that made the race a bit more difficult. We stopped the same time as Lewis. We had a bit of a gap between us for the stop but I don’t know, for some reason my stop was a bit slow. Max got alongside me on the pit lane, even though he was behind before and in the pit lane he was slightly ahead but we were side-by-side. I kept my line, he kept drifting to the right. We touched, I also touched a wall because there was no space. I got a puncture for that, but honestly, I thought that when I got the puncture and had to stop again, that I was going to be at the back of the grid but luckily only lost a couple of places. So, unlucky but lucky at the same time. Could have been a lot worse. Still important points, obviously disappointing going backwards from where you start from – sometimes it goes like this."

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