Lewis Hamilton had several close calls while working his way through the field. (Photo: Getty Images)

had several close calls while working his way through the field. (Photo: Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton did a superb job to salvage third in Hockenheim after starting only 20th, but while he put on a brace face afterwards there was no hiding his disappointment at losing more ground in the title battle.

Hamilton dropped from 15th on the grid after receiving a five-place penalty for a gearbox change. He also changed from Brembo to Carbon Industrie discs, although that did not lead to a pitlane start for a change to the car under parc ferme, as had been feared.

His chances were hampered by damage to his front wing after a clash with Jenson Button, and the team adjusted his strategy from three stops to two in attempt to find the pace with which to challenge Valtteri Bottas for second.

“I had great fun,” he said. “I did as good as I could today. It was very hard to get through the pack safely. I had a little bit of a collision with Jenson. I honestly thought he was opening the door to let me past, he’s been a bit like that in the past race for example, so my bad on judgement there. It’s very hard to overtake at the end, they were so fast on the straights but I’m very happy I got some points today.”

Hamilton clearly lost downforce although he could not quantify how much the damage cost him.

“I couldn’t tell you. The car was a little bit different but nonetheless to still get some points today, I’m grateful and very happy with the car today that Mercedes provided us with and congratulations to Nico (Rosberg). It’s fantastic for him on his home soil and also for Mercedes-Benz. So I’m glad I could add some points today.”

Asked if his glass was half full or half empty, he said: “Well, I don’t really know how to answer that really. I came from last, so to get on the podium is quite an achievement, so perhaps half full.”

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