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Lewis Hamilton

Hill outlines key lesson Hamilton has learned over the years

Lewis Hamilton's win in Russia was made possible by the Briton's patient approach, with Damon Hill noting that the seven-time World Champion bided his time during his first stint.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Damon Hill credited Lewis Hamilton for remaining patient in the Russian Grand Prix despite dropping as low as P7 in the early exchanges.

The Mercedes driver entered the race keen to make up for his "incredibly disappointing" mistake in qualifying, which resulted in him starting on the second row. Unfortunately for Hamilton, a poor start saw him fall down to seventh, where he struggled to find a way past McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo.

At one point, Verstappen even found himself less than 10 seconds behind Hamilton despite starting from the back of the grid, however the Briton maintained his calm demeanour to push through, and ultimately take victory.

"Max was only about five seconds behind him and you're starting to think, 'Lewis is in the walls, he's blocked in, he can't go anywhere'," Hill stated on the F1 Nation podcast.

"But he has learned incredible patience as a driver, and he knows that he just has to bide out the first stint. Then he puts his 'Hammer Time' to the metal, and off he goes.

"There was a point where I just thought, 'Blimey, if they pit now, Max is going to be coming out just five seconds behind him'. But those five seconds, once Lewis got clear air, suddenly turned into 20 seconds, and he was back on track."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff could be heard telling Hamilton on Lap 30 that victory was still within sight, and Hill believes the positive relationship between the 36-year-old and his team was also instrumental to the result in Sochi.

"Lewis is such a heart on sleeve guy," Hill added.

"I took a picture of him walking back after the crash [in qualifying], and I guarantee he went back to the debrief room, sat there and was glum and embarrassed and all those things.

"He has to kind of pick himself up, and maybe the team helped him do that. I'm not saying he needs it, but I'm saying he's someone who picks up on positive energy and encouragement.

"I think Mercedes give him that. They give him support, and he believes in them and he delivers for them. So when they say we need some real special laps, he goes, 'OK, I can do that'.

"He is a 'phenomena'. That's a word that is bandied about. But 100 Grands Prix [wins], you don't do that... We've talked about luck. He's had some luck, he's had some bad luck, but the average is that he's a cut above nearly everybody."

Lewis Hamilton claimed his 100th Grand Prix win to move into the championship lead, but it's Red Bull and Max Verstappen who will be happiest after the Russian Grand Prix.

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