MX23RW : Tuesday, October 6 15:57:38| >> :120:28772:28772:

Lewis Hamilton on Spanish Grand Prix victory: "I was in a different dimension"

Lewis Hamilton on Spanish Grand Prix victory:
© Reuters
The Mercedes driver finished 24 points clear to edge closer to Michael Schumacher's world championship record.

Lewis Hamilton said he completed his crushing Spanish Grand Prix victory in an almost unconscious state on Sunday.

The Mercedes driver finished a convincing 24 seconds clear of Max Verstappen and 44 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas at Barcelona's Circuit Catalunya, to edge ever closer to equalling Michael Schumacher's record seven world championships.

While Hamilton moved to within just three victories of Schumacher's overall win record – one he could now match at Ferrari's 1,000th Grand Prix in Tuscany on September 13 – he also toppled the German's all-time podium tally.

PA Graphic
PA Graphic

No driver in Formula One's 70-year history has stood on a grand prix rostrum more times than Hamilton's stunning 156 visits from 256 starts.

After recording what is regarded as his greatest pole lap around the streets of Monaco, Hamilton's hero Ayrton Senna famously said he "was no longer driving consciously."

The triple world champion, who lit up the Principality to finish 1.427 seconds clear of rival Alain Prost in identical McLaren machinery, continued: "I was in a different dimension. It frightened me because I realised I was well beyond my conscious understanding."

Hamilton will have been just three when Senna delivered that particular moment of F1 antiquity. Fast-forward 32 years, and it is now the boy from Stevenage who is rewriting the sport's history books.

Crossing the line to claim his fourth triumph from six outings this year, a satisfied Hamilton said over the radio: "I was just in a daze out there. I was in a different zone.

"There is an immense amount of pressure on all of us to perform, and the goal is always to chase to perfection and be in that zone.

"You can be close but not in your perfect rhythm, but for whatever reason, and I can't quite pinpoint why, it felt like I was in the most clear zone with a clarity.

"I don't know how you to get in that space but I felt fantastic in the car. I didn't make mistakes and I delivered lap upon lap – it is the zone that I dream of being in.

"I was ecstatic when I came across the line. I didn't realise it was still the last lap. I was still going like a horse with those blockers on.

"For me it is right up there in terms of how I drove, how I really delivered and up there with some of the best performances that I feel I have done. I am definitely going to have a glass of wine tonight to celebrate."

Hamilton will head to the seventh round in Belgium later this month with a 37-point lead over Verstappen. Should he win there, and in Imola a week later, the Tuscan Grand Prix at Ferrari's home track in Mugello will provide him with the opportunity to equal Schumacher's 91 victories – the last of which he recorded in China in 2006.

"We all grew up watching Michael and dreaming of one day being here," added Hamilton.

Motor Racing – Santander British Formula One Grand Prix – Practice Day – Silverstone Circuit
Lewis Hamilton is closing on Michael Schumacher's record (PA)

"What is happening right now is far beyond what I dreamed of as a kid and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I am given every day.

"Michael was an incredible athlete and driver so I just feel humble and honoured to be mentioned in the same light as a driver like him, like Ayrton and like Juan Manuel Fangio, too. I hope the Hamilton family are also proud."

Hamilton's three-race winning streak came to an end at last weekend's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Verstappen's superb victory against the backdrop of tyre trouble for Mercedes provided some hope that Hamilton will not have it all his own way this year.

But in the 30-degree heat, the champion led every lap after charging to the first corner to leave team-mate Bottas trailing.

Valtteri Bottas file photo
Valtteri Bottas could not compete with his team-mate on Sunday (PA)

Bottas fell two places to fourth after he was too timid on the brakes at the opening bend, allowing Verstappen to sail around the outside, and Lance Stroll to sneak through on his right.

Bottas would make it back past Stroll on lap five but he was unable to do anything about Verstappen, the only other driver able to keep pace with the all-black machines. In the other Red Bull, Alexander Albon finished eighth, one lap behind. Stroll was fourth ahead of Racing Point team-mate Sergio Perez.

Ferrari's troubles continued with Charles Leclerc forced to park his red machine after an electrical failure sent him into a spin. He attempted to solider on before conceding defeat on lap 38.

Sebastian Vettel spent much of the afternoon in the midfield before adopting a one-stop strategy. Despite being reeled in by Stroll and McLaren's Carlos Sainz in the closing stages, the four-time world champion finished seventh, his second best result of the current campaign.

ID:410532:

Click here for more stories about Lewis Hamilton

Click here for more stories about Mercedes

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Pirelli Motorsport Racing manager Mario Isola
Read Next:
Pirelli did not request downforce cut for 2021
>
Latest Sports Video

rhs 2.0
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish League Cup
EFL Trophy
Welsh Premier League
Eerste Divisie
Uruguayan Primera Division
NFL

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!