Hamilton: 'That's how racing should be!'

© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton was clearly delighted to win an intense battle with Sebastian Vettel in the Spanish Grand Prix.

"That's how racing should be," he said after the race. "That's as close as it could be. Sebastian was incredibly close, incredibly fast.

"I can't tell you how happy I am," he added.

Hamilton made things difficult for himself by losing the lead into the run down to the first corner. That meant Mercedes needed to plot an new strategy to put him back in front toward the end of the race.

"I don't really know exactly what's gone wrong, I need to speak with my guys. It wasn't good enough, I know. I thought I did everything I was supposed to, but I got a bit of wheel spin.

"Obviously the beginning of the race was very tough having fallen back to P2," he continued. "This is such a hard race in these hot conditions, such a hard race to win from second.

"Often you can't follow, tyres overheat, so generally you're fallowing a train. It felt amazing to stay within a couple of seconds at the beginning and to be in a real fight."

Tyre strategy finally allowed Hamilton to get within striking distance of Vettel. Switching to soft compound tyres, he finally took the lead of the race on lap 43.

"At the end, once I'd pushed and taken a lot of life out of the tyres, they said I got 26 laps left. I'm like, 'Geez, I struggled to do the 18 or whatever it was on the first stint, so it's like 'This is going to be a real push.'"

Hamilton was concerned that even once he managed to use the faster soft compound tyres to pass Vettel, their lower durability would cost him later.

"Maybe I can pull away now, but later on he's going to catch me," he agrees. "So I really had to nurse those tyres at the end so that every time he reacted and pulled out a quick time, pulled the gap down, I could react."

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