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GP Week : Issue 220
The racer in Lewis Hamilton got the better of him late in the spanish Grand Prix. Having cleared Sebastian Vettel with a three-stop strategy, coupled with some strong pace in the middle part of the race, Hamilton emerged from his final stop more than 20 seconds behind teammate Nico Rosberg. With second place in the bag, and another Mercedes 1-2 all but assured, it seemed only reasonable that Hamilton would simply manage his car to the finish. Not so. Having been told to slow down and consolidate second place over the radio, Hamilton responded by questioning whether catching Rosberg was possible - refusing to take no for an answer. "It’s not nice for a driver to hear that," Hamilton admitted when asked about the instruction to back off. "I’m here to race, not here to finish second. Naturally I ignored that, and I was pushing and really putting the car on the edge." Having raced clear at the head of the race, Rosberg only relinquished the lead during the pit stop cycles, with Hamilton assuming top spot prior to his final stop. It was a temporary arrangement, the Mercedes pit wall assured Rosberg, suggesting tensions within the team remain high. Finally, as the laps counted down, Hamilton saw reason and eased his pace. "When I realized that I had seven laps to go and I was 13 seconds [behind] and I was only seven-tenths of a second up, I had to take the smart approach and just bring the car home," he explained, trying to deflect the notion he'd been trying to pressure his teammate into a mistake and steal the win at the last. "Naturally, by me pushing he has to push. And it puts both cars at risk, so that’s understandable." As for being asked to settle for second place in the future, Hamilton remained unrepentant. "It’s not something you want to hear. I will definitely be making sure that it’s not said again." don't tell me to slow down 26 GPWEEK.com // 26 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPAIN PARTNERS: