Lewis Hamilton produced a flawless performance in a car which was not the quickest on the day to win the Turkish Grand Prix, says his team principal Toto Wolff.2021 F1 season, “just got really more expensive today”.
“His driving was impeccable,” said Wolff. “There was not one thing, not one foot he put wrong today whilst everybody else did. With a car that was, today, the interaction with the tyres, for sure not the best car.”
Asked how long he expects Hamilton to extend his contract with the team for, Wolff said: “I see us going for a while.”
Hamilton briefly moved up to third place at the start but ran wide and fell back to sixth. From there he gained places from other drivers who spun or made more than one pit stop. After his sole stop, to change to intermediate tyres, Hamilton passed Sergio Perez to take the lead.
“The tyres went through different phases,” Wolff explained. “You could see that most of the people who bolted on a new set of intermediates and pushed very hard had graining after a couple of laps only. And from then on the tyre didn’t recover.
“Lance [Stroll] was leading the race solid and put on the new tyre, which I think at that time was the right strategy, and just dropped back. And the same with Max [Verstappen].
“I think took what made the difference was that Lewis kept it on the road through the difficult phase at the beginning where our car was not competitive. He just stayed there and then eked out the advantage over our competitors, was there when it mattered and understood the tyre, understood how to drive the tyre to go fast and make it last.”
Hamilton has now equalled the record for most world championship victories scored by a Formula 1 driver. “He ranks in terms of his record on Michael’s level in terms of driver world championships and is the absolute record holder in pole positions and race victories,” said Wolff.
“Today he cemented his position amongst the all-time best sportspeople in the world.”
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2020 F1 season
- Pictures: Wrecked chassis from Grosjean’s Bahrain fireball crash to go on display
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers