Bahrain a ‘challenging weekend,’ says Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton finished second place in the Bahrain GP. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/LAT Images)
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Lewis Hamilton called the Bahrain GP a “challenging weekend” after he qualified second to teammate Valtteri Bottas and was beaten by Sebastian Vettel in the race.

Hamilton dropped to third behind Bottas and Vettel at the start, and then picked up a five-second penalty for going to slowly into the pits under the safety car, holding up Daniel Ricciardo. After taking the penalty he had to gain 19 seconds on Vettel in the final 16 laps to win the race, but the target was out of reach.

“A challenging weekend,” said Hamilton. “The start was OK but Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn’t know whereabouts he was. I didn’t know where anyone was behind me. Valtteri got a good start and it was really just about covering him. I obviously lost position to Sebastian there. It was really hard to follow, but we’re generally all similar kind of pace, and then yeah, completely my fault with the Safety Car. Supposed to have a five-second gap and I think I had a four-second gap. Just a misjudgment from myself.

“Obviously I had very good pace, particularly the second and last stint, and I honestly believed I would be able to catch Sebastian up, but obviously with a five-second penalty that made it twice as hard as it, was already going to be. As I said, apologies to the team but I tried the best I could to recover it and we still got good points for the team today with a second and third but we still have this great fight and Sebastian did a great job and he had fantastic pace.”

During the race Hamilton asked the team why he had been put on the soft rather than supersoft for the final stint, but afterwards he seemed happy.

“The tire felt great so I believe it was the right choice. The team have generally been making really great choices this year. I thought it was going to be a supersoft but honestly I think the tire was the best one, particularly for 16 laps pushing at the pace I was going was a long way to go. I don’t know if the supersoft would have lasted that long.”