Lewis Hamilton won his 98th Formula One race to add to his 100th pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix and then warned Max Verstappen: “I feel like I could go again!” Mercedes’ tactical brilliance saw them edge out their rivals at the Circuit de Catalunya to increase their lead in both of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
The Briton clawed back his Red Bull rival after losing his spot at the first corner on the first lap and eventually regained the lead on lap 60.
That was after Hamilton pitted twice to put himself on fresh medium tyres to attack Verstappen into the closing stages.
His newer compounds left Red Bull powerless to avoid giving up the win to the Silver Arrows.
It is the seven-time world champion’s fifth straight victory in Barcelona and his third from four races in the 2021 season.
The 36-year-old leads Verstappen by 14 points after the Dutchman pinched the point for fastest lap late on.
Speaking to former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button who hailed his countryman’s “fantastic” win, Hamilton said: “Thank you so much. First I just want to acknowledge the fans that are here.
“It’s the first race this year we’ve had people come which is great to see. I saw a British flag out there which is something we haven’t seen for a long, long time.
“I feel great after this. I feel like I could go again! Obviously the training is working and paying off.
“Such a close start. There was a lot of rubber down on the right-hand side and the Red Bull got a great start.
“After that I was just hunting. I was so close for so long and I didn’t think in doing that I was going to be able to make the tyres last.
“But I managed to keep them in somehow. It was a long way to come back from 20 odd seconds but it was a good gamble. A really great strategy from the team.
“It was the plan all weekend to make sure we had two mediums if we had to do a two-stop even though a one-stop potentially looked better.
“I know from experience here that a one-stop is very, very hard to pull off. As soon as we had the pace that we had I knew as soon as I could get past, if I could…
“I was about to have a shot at getting past him before I pitted right at the end and I was really conflicted. ‘Do I come in or I do ignore the call and stay out?’
“Obviously I did what the team asked and naturally that’s because there’s a great trust between us.
“Just a remarkable job by everyone in this team through and through. Yeah, what a day.”