Lewis Hamilton has given his take after Toto Wolff suggested that the Briton may have had the pace to win the Spanish Grand Prix had it not been for his first-lap clash with Kevin Magnussen.
After qualifying sixth and making a good start, the seven-time World Champion was involved in a collision with Magnussen on the opening lap, which resulted in a puncture on his Mercedes car and dropped him to the back of the field.
Hamilton then produced a storming drive to claw his way back to a fifth-place finish, despite a reported water leak in the power unit which forced him to slow down.
Hamilton reflects on Wolff's comments
Starting his second lap 50 seconds behind the leaders, Hamilton's drive through the field even surprised Mercedes Team Principal Wolff, who believes that – had it not been for the clash with Magnussen – his driver had the speed to challenge the front-runners for victory.
"I've no idea, it's all ifs and buts, but we definitely had good pace,"
When asked whether he echoed Wolff's opinion, Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com: "I've no idea, it's all ifs and buts, but we definitely had good pace."
The British driver admits that the team "weren’t expecting" their speed in Barcelona.
“I think we were expecting to hopefully be close to the Ferraris, but I think Charles [Leclerc's] pace was ahead of everyone's, but other than that I definitely didn’t expect to come from so far behind," Hamilton said.
Viewed by others:
Can Mercedes now fight for the championship?
Mercedes' progress has led to questions over whether they can now get involved in the championship battle.
"I don't know, it's still too early to say honestly," Hamilton said when asked about the team's prospects in this regards.
"There's potential and I think we tapped into it in the last race. This is a completely different track [at Monaco], so I'm hoping that it's not up and down, weekend in, weekend out from now on, but my guess is as good as yours."
In terms of how the W13 performed through slow-speed corners at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Hamilton explained: "It wasn’t spectacular. It was good in the race.
"We seemed to be as good as the others in the race but in the single lap, it wasn’t that great."
F1 Podcast: Did off-track matters ruin the spectacle at the Spanish GP?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the Spanish Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen won a thrilling race after Charles Leclerc retired. But was the on-track action soured by a poor fan experience at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?