I was not defeatist with the appeal of the Spanish GP to save the F1 engine

Hamilton started the Spanish Grand Prix from sixth on the grid but fell to the back of the field after first-lap contact with Magnussen at Turn 4 forced him into a pit stop.

Shortly after returning to the track in 19th place, Hamilton radioed Mercedes engineer Pete Bonnington to suggest the team should save his car’s engine. Bonnington told Hamilton the team’s predictions suggested an eighth-place finish or better could be possible, so keep going.

Hamilton eventually finished the race in fifth place after a series of impressive stints, having only lost fourth to Carlos Sainz due to a water leak in the closing stages.

Asked about his call to save the engine and whether he was defeatist, Hamilton replied: “It’s not defeatist, it’s just that I was literally 30 seconds behind.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, heads into the pits with damage after contact on the first lap

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, heads into the pits with damage after contact on the first lap

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

He explained his uncertainty about having to “use a full engine to ride last or outside the top 15, and at some point we might have to take a penalty or something”.

Hamilton also cited his struggles to get back into the top 10 in Jeddah after dropping out in Q1 as showing how difficult it can sometimes be to gain positions.

“I don’t know if reliability is an issue,” Hamilton said. “We have already seen that today at the end there was something. I was like, we might as well save the engine so we live to fight another day.

“But I’m glad we didn’t, and it just goes to show that you never stop, you never give up, and that’s what I did.”

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Hamilton’s recovery has helped give him greater confidence that Mercedes has taken a significant step forward with its W13 car after bringing a series of updates to Barcelona, ​​aimed at alleviating its porpoising problem which has spoiled his form so far this year.

The seven-time world champion felt the breakthrough was a good step forward after a difficult period that included some unfortunate moments early in the season.

“Since the last race of the year, it’s been tough all the way,” Hamilton said. “To then have the difficulties that we had with the car, having constant setbacks with certain problems, safety cars and all kinds of things, [there has] not really [been] a lot of fortune.

“But [we] just keep getting back on the horse, and keep pushing, and never give up. Starting the race today positive, then having this problem [at the start] but then to come back, it felt a lot like some of the old races I did.

“To me, it’s amazing.”

On Monday night, to bolster his enthusiasm, he tweeted:

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