Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Dominant Hamilton says he was “in a perfect zone” and didn’t realise he’d finished Spanish GP

2020 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he didn’t realise he’d reached the last lap of the Spanish Grand Prix following his emphatic win in today’s race.

“I was in a different zone then,” said Hamilton on the radio after taking the chequered flag. “I didn’t even realise it was the last lap.”

The Mercedes driver finished 24 seconds ahead of his nearest rival, Max Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas, who finished third, was the only other driver Hamilton didn’t lap over the course of the 66-lap race.

“I didn’t even know it was the last lap at the end,” said Hamilton in the FIA press conference after the race. “That’s how zoned in I was. I was ready to keep going.”

“For whatever reason today, I can’t quite pinpoint why, but it was like a clear zone. The clarity that I had today whilst I was driving, I’m sure I’ve had it before but not always. I don’t even know how to really get into that zone. It’s hard to say what helps you get into that space.

“But of course I will evaluate this weekend and the feeling today. Honestly I felt fantastic in the car. It was physically challenging but in terms of not making any mistakes, delivering lap upon lap upon lap, I was in a perfect zone and that’s the zone that I dream of being in.”

He admitted he was surprised by his margin of victory at the end of the race.

“I never would have expected to have a lead of 24 seconds. That’s definitely not what we thought we’d have coming to this weekend.

“But I really put it down to that even when I was catching traffic I was gaining time rather than losing time which is never the case. Normally you lose time with traffic and today wasn’t the case.

“There were all these elements, which were just perfectly in place and I was very, very centred in my core. I’ve got to try and get there every week, every day.”

Asked whether he would compare his mental state to Ayrton Senna’s famous description of his 1988 pole position lap in Monaco, Hamilton said: “No, I wouldn’t describe it the same way as Ayrton would.

“Ultimately there is an immense amount of pressure on all of us to perform weekend in, weekend out and I think the goal is always to chase for perfection and be in that zone.”

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25 comments on “Dominant Hamilton says he was “in a perfect zone” and didn’t realise he’d finished Spanish GP”

  1. Hamilton was “in perfect zone”.
    Yeah, he was sitting in a Mercedes and had Bottas as a teammate……..how perfect a zone you want it?

    1. I thought he got in the zone by concentrating on sector 1 during FP1, 2 and 3 whilst all the others chased time in sector 3 as he realised that’s why he could make the big difference in preserving the tyres. Hence why he was one of the slowest of the top runners in sector 1. Plus during the race whilst others (Max, etc.) where questioning what was happening to their cars in turn 9, he had sussed the change in wind conditions and opened up the gap to those behind before they adjusted themselves to it. Had the car perfectly balanced for and during the race.
      Then again, as you suggest he may feel more comfortable having Max behind than being challenged by Bottas.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        16th August 2020, 21:54

        Did Hamilton say that about how he set up the car?

      2. This is an excellent comment. Do you watch Peter Windsor?

    2. had Bottas as a teammate

      True. But still harder than having Albon as a team mate for eg.

    3. Hamilton was way ahead of Bottas and Verstappen today. Max indeed has the excuse of an inferior car. But the difference was such that this probably was a phenomenal drive by Lewis. But winning by 2 seconds or 20+ makes no difference to the result, so it’s easy to miss just how good he was driving.

      1. And actually Hamilton himself rated it one of his best ever drives. What would he know though.

    4. +1
      In that car, half of the field could be in a sub par zone and win.
      Hamilton attempting convince the world it had to do with his driving prowess – laughable.
      Max needs more HP but Honda aren’t up to the task…sad.

      1. Timothy Harris
        17th August 2020, 1:44

        @Dani, if what you are saying is true why is Mercedes paying him in excess of forty million pounds a year to drive their car.

      2. Yeah, exactly! Same with Bottas… oh.

  2. W11 is the name of the perfect zone.

  3. Reminds me of Vettel in the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix.

  4. Didn’t Bono inform him that he was on the last lap?

    1. I did wonder as he went steaming past his crew full chat and stayed on the racing line, rather than sweeping across the track to acknowledge them.

  5. Yup, this is what perfection of being in the zone looks like. Total focus, mind in state of flow, fury of activity inside the car and totally booring for the casual entertainment wishing fan.

    This championship is over. Best we can observe is Verstappen trying to nick a race here and there.

  6. Traditionally drivers always turn towards the pit wall when winning (or achieving otherwise good result) the race but Hamilton didn’t do that this time.

  7. Modern F1 is worrying to me. Watching onboards is like watching someone playing on a console.

    Ham is a great driver, however he’s not the only one. The car is king currently. Driver skill has been relegated. The machine/computer dictates dominance.

    I fear that fan comments on social media influence Liberty’s decision-making to a disturbing extent.

    The other major open-wheel category here in the US is much more exciting.

    I say that as a long-term F1 fan.

  8. Modern F1 is worrying to me. Watching onboards is like watching someone playing on a console.

    Ham is a great driver, however he’s not the only one. The car is king currently. Driver skill has been relegated. The machine/computer dictates dominance.

    I fear that fan comments on social media influence Liberty’s decision-making to a disturbing extent.

    The other major open-wheel category here in the US is much more exciting.

    I say that as a long-term F1 fan.

  9. STOP FORREST STOP!!! 🤣🤣🤣

  10. This was another Hungary for bottas. Even though he could not pass Hamilton would have been all over verstappen at the end here. I really thought that by going long in stint 2 Bottas would come back at Verstappen with a fury especially seeing hamilton casually drive away from him.

    1. I don’t believe Bottas does ‘fury’ as such. Sure he can line himself up for a qualifying run, but I don’t think that either Hamilton or Verstappen (or Leclerc, in a better car) are worried for a second if they come up to Bottas for an overtake (or vice versa).
      That calmness is also one of his strengths – in some situations–, but I don’t think he has a mode in which he can easily bend a difficult situation into one that plays into his favour.

  11. Hamilton doesn’t have any thing to prove. He was always a winner in every car or cart. The McLaren was best car for only two of his six years with the team but he won races and poles every year. The dominance of Mercedes is now down to the best car with the best driver. The line about putting any driver in the Mercedes and they would win is bs. Bottas here for example. Down through the years it’s always been the same. Clark in a Lotus. Senna in the McLaren Honda and Schumacher in the Ferrari, best driver in the best car.

    1. Schumacher only had the best car in 2001, 2002, 2004 and slightly better in 2006.

      Hamilton has had the best car 7 years in a row.

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        17th August 2020, 15:12

        If you don’t include 2000 and 2003 in Schumacher best cars years, why do you include 2017 and 2018 in Hamilton best cars years?
        (Let alone the Schumacher 1994, which would be a talk for an entire book.)

  12. José Lopes da Silva
    17th August 2020, 15:16

    Usually the Spanish Grand Prix is where we can evaluate where Bottas and Hamilton are regarding each other. The 2019 fight for the championship died at Montmelló and I suppose the 2020 too. I don’t recall Rosberg showing such weakness regarding Hamilton.

    Fans claiming that “Hamilton has the best car” in a race where is teammate finished 3rd are missing something. If you had two Bottases in the Mercedes, Verstappen would have won.

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