For Lewis Hamilton, there was nothing wrong with the British Grand Prix on Sunday for 51 laps, but a flat tire in the final lap almost cost the Mercedes driver the victory.
“I was actually on some kind of cruise control,” Hamilton said afterwards. “The tires looked good.” The Brit took it extra calm in the final rounds, because his teammate Valtteri Bottas had already had a flat tire with two laps to go.
“Valtteri was really pushing behind me, while I was very attentive to the conditions of my tires,” explained Hamilton. “When I heard that his band had died, it seemed to me that nothing was wrong.”
The reigning world champion had a half minute lead over Max Verstappen, who had stopped in the final phase to get an extra point for the fastest lap after Bottas’ flat tire. That margin turned out to be just enough, because he had a five second lead at the finish.
“My heart was beating for a while when that tire punctured,” said Hamilton. “That suddenly happened on the straight. I was then praying in the car that I would not go too slow. I almost couldn’t get through the last corners anymore. Afterwards we might have had to stop once more.”
Due to his oppressive victory, Hamilton is running well in the World Cup position. The Brit has 88 points, 30 more than teammate Bottas, who finished outside the top ten. Verstappen is third with 52 points.