Lewis Hamilton says being able to make overtaking moves and recover from a tough qualifying is what he lives for after climbing from 13th to finish sixth in the Miami Grand Prix.
Mercedes struggled on Saturday at the Miami International Autodrome, with Hamilton dropping out in Q2 and George Russell only just making it through to Q3. In the race, however, cooler conditions helped both drivers to be more competitive and Hamilton started on the hard tire before a charge on mediums led to him overtaking Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc in the closing stages.
“In qualifying, to qualify 13th is not great,” Hamilton said. “It made the race much, much harder for us. The first 20 laps were a little bit difficult because we were in a DRS train. But after that I was able to start chipping away.
“I really enjoy battling with different cars, it was great at the end to catch the Alpine and overtake a Ferrari for example. George and I, he started sixth so we were in a bit of a different race. Of course, I’m a team player, I want to give the team the maximum points.
“It was mega. Just to be… the sprint race in the last race, I was going backwards. It’s really, really demoralizing when you’re going backwards, it’s really tough. So it was really great to have pace, see the cars up ahead and seeing the progress, knowing that I’ll be battling with people. I had a couple of great overtakes as well. That’s what I live for.
“It felt great to see the Ferrari up ahead and just catching it bit by bit. It’s pretty impressive that they’re so quick in a single lap but I don’t know what was going on in the race. But to come from 13th and get back into the hustle with them was great.
“I think if I had qualified where I should’ve, I probably would’ve had a much smoother and easier day. But I like days like this where there’s a bit of adversity and you have to put it all together and deliver.”
Hamilton was also buoyed by the pre-race introductions that were carried out in Miami, with all of the drivers presented to the fans on a star-studded grid.
“I think it’s cool that the sport is continuously growing and evolving and they’re not just doing the same thing they’ve done in the past. They’re trying new things, they’re trying to improve the show always, and I’m in full support of it.
“I grew up listening to LL Cool J, and LL Cool J was there. That’s cool. You look over, you’ve got will.i.am who’s an incredible artist. You’ve got Serena and Venus (Williams) standing there. I thought it was cool.”