Wrong power mode helped Hamilton beat Vettel!

Lewis Hamilton

A mistake at the restart of the Belgian GP was a blessing in disguise for Lewis Hamilton as it helped him fend off an attack by Sebastian Vettel.

The race's restart on lap 34 saw Hamilton rocket away from his rival only for the Ferrari to catch right up with the Mercedes as the two cars entered the La Source hairpin.

"Initially I got a very good start when we were on the back straight, I got a real good pull away," said Hamilton. 

"I was able to catch him out, as I did in Baku on the three or four starts with the safety car. I broke away, but didn't have the right power mode.

"I pulled away initially, and then he started catching me up, so he went into the last corner.

"Initially it felt like that's a mistake, but in actual fact it was actually a really good thing, because if I came out of the last corner with that gap, he would have had the momentum, being three or four car lengths behind, to really propel and really get a good tow, and come and slip past me.

"It worked out perfectly." 

On the run down to Eau Rouge, Hamilton deliberately kept Vettel under his wing, also aware that the Ferrari would likely not attempt to overtake too early on the run-up to Les Combes.

Hamilton's subsequent defense of his position and outstanding  braking at the end of the long Kemmel straight was a decisive moment in the race.

"We got into Turn 1, I had very cold tyres, so I had a small lock-up. He was on the gas before me, I could hear him, and then as we were going down that straight I didn't keep it full lit the whole way, I was at 90 percent throttle, just to keep him as close as possible.

"I knew he wasn't going to come by, because he knows I would overtake him then at the top part with the tow.

"As we were going up Eau Rouge, that's where I really gave it maximum power. We got to the top and he had no space to really propel himself, so he just pulled out alongside.

"It was a cool battle, but it was really great to go into Turn 5 having done just enough to stay ahead. I was really happy with that."

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