Lewis Hamilton feels that he and Mercedes made a breakthrough in the United States Grand Prix, even though he failed to finish on the podium.
Despite a tough afternoon, and intense discussions over the team radio about how best to manage his tyres and race, Hamilton was buoyed by the fact that the team’s pace in the race was better than it had been in recent grands prix.
“I’m really, really happy,” he declared. “I feel like I won the race, because I went forward. It’s like the first time I’ve gone forward since Hungary.
“It was a good feeling to get a good start, and then be able to look after the tires the way I needed to. The tires didn’t die at the end. If I’d have lost out to Fernando [Alonso], I would have let the team down and I didn’t want to do that.”
Although Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s dominance of Formula 1 right now means there is little hope of Mercedes taking another victory this season, Hamilton says that there is still an intense desire to secure second in the constructors’ championship.
“We’ve still a job to do,” said Hamilton, with Mercedes just 15 points ahead of Ferrari with one race to go. “It will be such a good feeling if we can finish ahead of Ferrari, that would be huge for the team, and that’s what we are working towards.
“To be the second best over the whole season compared to Red Bull, to leapfrog Ferrari, McLaren and Lotus would be huge for the guys back at the factory. It’s not that they’ve worked any harder this year than the previous years, it’s just they weren’t seeing the results they deserved the previous years. To now finally see the results is big for them, and hopefully that will help in the development for next year.”