Hamilton made an early pit stop to swap his hyper-softs for ultra-softs, which meant he had to go 66 laps on his final set of tyres.
“I’m thinking ‘there’s no way this car is going to go 48 laps’. It’s already grained.
“When you’re driving you can look at the tyres and you see the different layers. Eventually half the tyre was lower than the outside of the tyre, like a whole level down. And then I could see the couple of lines you can see at the low end of the tread and you’re like ‘it’s getting pretty bald’. But it was still going.”
Despite his difficult race Hamilton said third place, and giving away just three points to closest championship rival Sebastian Vettel, was a good result.
“We never want to lose any points but we’ll definitely take that,” he said. “When I finished the race I was thinking it could be seventh, it could be fifth, it could’ve been much worse.
“If you look at last year I think we finished seventh here, it was a terrible weekend. So I think we had a much stronger weekend than last year.
“As I said I think coming into the weekend we truly believed we were the third quickest team here this weekend and we’ve finished third. So I’m super-happy that it’s not a bigger loss. To come to a race which is potentially one of our weakest out of two – probably our weakest, we’ll see when we come to Singapore – is definitely a positive.”
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2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year