Lewis Hamilton who acknowledged his mistake during the race where he beached his car and damaged his car’s front but the race was not over and it was his first mistake in a very long time.
“It wasn’t the greatest of days, the first time I’ve made a mistake in a long time – but I’m grateful I was able to bring the car home still,” said Hamilton in post-race media debrief.
“There was only one dry line and I guess I was in a bit too much of a hurry to get through everyone, came onto the inside and I could see it was wet and I was trying to stop but the thing wouldn’t stop and sent me off. A bit unfortunate but grateful we got to get going again, and to get some points for the team was really important today.”
After losing out the lead of the race at first corners, where Max Verstappen brilliant second gear start off the line gave him a pace advantage, later after the first round of pit stops Lewis beached his car into the gravel at Tosa hairpin but due to his experience was able to keep his engine running and reversed back onto the track.
Lewis getting full advantage of the Red Flag brought by his team-mate Valtteri Bottas and other Mercedes driver George Russell, Lewis was lucky enough to cut short his lap deficit to Max Verstappen and restart the race P9 and that was when the charge and recovery drive started for the Seven Times World Champion.
WHAT A COMEBACK!! 👊 LEWIS FIGHTS BACK TO P2! pic.twitter.com/RGU2BUdu56— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) April 18, 2021
“I loved it!” said Hamilton. “That’s how my career actually started as a kid, coming through. We had a really dodgy old go-kart so I was always starting at the back. So it just took me back to my roots. It’s a very hard track to overtake on.”
In less than half a race distance, he was able to cut through the field and overtake seven drivers – taking full advantage of the extended DRS zone.
“I definitely didn’t think I’d be [on the podium] when I was facing that barrier,” he added. “But I remember just sitting there looking at the barrier and I refused to think that the race was over, refused to believe that the race was done. I could have obviously turned the car off and got out – but I’m grateful I didn’t.”
“Without doubt, getting back to second and getting these points today will be very valuable through the season,” he added. “If I’d lost 25 points today, it would have been very hard to recover, based on the fact that Red Bull – it’s the first time they’ve had a championship-winning car in a long time and their car was incredibly fast this weekend.”
“We love the fact that it’s a close battle and it’s great to see McLaren up there after such a long time, great to see Ferrari looking strong. There’s going to be a lot of exciting race up ahead.”
Quote’s courtesy: formula1.com