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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton left ruing mistake despite F1 podium return

Lewis Hamilton scored a first podium finish of the season in Spain.

Hamilton podium Spain
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To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton felt his poor Spanish Grand Prix start cost Mercedes the chance to be even closer to Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in Barcelona. 

At lights out, Hamilton slipped to fourth from third as team-mate George Russell roared into the lead after pole-sitter Lando Norris and Max Verstappen held each other up on the 594 metre run to Turn 1. 

Verstappen quickly cleared Russell for a straight-forward win as Hamilton followed Norris home for a 198th career podium, and first since the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, some 13 races ago. 

However, reflecting on the result, Hamilton felt he could have been closer than the 17.790s he finished behind Verstappen's Red Bull.

"It has been a good day, a good weekend," Hamilton explained.

"I have to say a big thank you to the team because they've been working so hard in the pit-stops, with the strategy and the pit-stops were really on point. 

"Unfortunately like Lando, I got a bad start and obviously lost ground to the Ferraris, so it was a bit of a battle to get back to where I am now.

"With a better start, I don't know if we could have held onto the guys ahead, but I don't think we would have been as far behind as we were."

Hamilton ultimately passed Russell for the final podium spot after the younger Briton switched on the hard tyres at his final pit-stop. 

The hard C1 rubber was not a favoured race tyre, with limited running through practice, with Hamilton explaining it was never an option for him, as he also addressed a close wheel-to-wheel battle with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz at Turn 1.

"It was the plan from the beginning, it was never an option to run the hard tyre for me," he said.

"I drove the race on a soft-medium-soft. 

"All the overtakes were super close, but that is how it should be right? It was fair, I left space and it was right on the limit, with a piece of paper between us."

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