Mercedes have stated that Lewis Hamilton's swift and patient overtakes were decisive in winning the Brit his second Grand Prix of the season as the Brit extended his championship lead over Max Verstappen by eight points.
The seven-time World Champion who started second on the grid had a challenging first quarter of the race as Verstappen passed him for second after the safety car restart. Still, the Brit quickly repassed the Dutchman three laps later before passing teammate and pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas on lap 20 to take the lead before the first round of pit stops.
After his scheduled stop, Hamilton came out behind Sergio Perez before passing the Mexican with 15 laps to go on his way to his 97th Grand Prix victory.
Mercedes, head of trackside operations Andrew Shovlin, has stated that Hamilton's overtakes helped increase the longevity of his tires throughout the race by keeping them cool and not overheating them.
“Lewis is very good at overtaking; he seems to know where to position the car building up to it," Shovlin said according to RaceFans.Net.
"He also often doesn’t keep trying lap after lap. He’ll just sit there and then takes the opportunity, but his feel for the tyres, I think, is the key to how he manages to sit there and not overheat them and look after them. He’s got the same tyres as everyone else, and you damage them by getting them hot, by sliding them, so the key to it is just keeping them cool and managing the sliding. I think he’s just better at it than the others."
Hamilton then explained the reasoning for dropping back after being passed by Verstappen, with the Brit using the time behind the Red Bull to gather his thoughts before overtaking.
“I fell back, maybe a second or something like that, and I needed to get closer, but for a moment there was far too big a gap, I wasn’t in the DRS, and I just had to gather my thoughts and made a couple of tweaks in terms of how I was driving and then start on the attack again. Once I did: Obviously, I got closer. Max, I think, had a small mistake which then put me in a nice position out of turn five, and then I just needed to keep that gap through the rest of the lap, and that was where I was able to get past him."