• Chinese Grand Prix

Hamilton praises team and strategy for win

ESPNF1 Staff
April 17, 2011 « Ecclestone quizzed by German prosecutor | »
Lewis Hamilton celebrates with his mechanics after the race © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton praised his strategy and team for delivering him to victory at the Chinese Grand Prix.

For the second race in a row, qualifying was crucial to race strategy with Hamilton opting for just one flying lap in Q3, instead of the usual two, to keep a fresh set of softs for the race. He started from third on the grid and got ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who started from pole position going in to the first corner. McLaren then chose a three-stop strategy and Hamilton was able to push harder on his tyres during each of his stints to beat the two-stopping Sebastian Vettel over the course of the full 56 laps.

"I think today definitely the strategy that we came up going in to qualifying definitely helped," he said. "I think my new option tyres seemed to last me longer compared to the guys in front, but it was a combination of a few things that came together. The pit stops were fantastic, which was good for us because the guys are always pushing to improve. The car felt great and I think it was just about trying to nurse my tyres while trying to pick up my pace."

"It was one of the best races I've experienced, at least this year, where the guys out front are overtaking. A real thumbs up to the guys back at the factory and in the garage, they really put their hearts in to making the car and preparing the car to the best it can be every weekend. It feels amazing to be able to bring a victory home."

Ahead of the start of the race McLaren flooded Hamilton's engine and a frantic mop-up job ensued to clean it out for the start of the race. The final parts were put on the car on the grid just minutes before the formation lap, but Hamilton was not fazed.

"I don't think 'worried' was coming in to my thoughts," he said. "I was ready nice and early in my car and then we had a problem and the car wouldn't start. I'm still not entirely sure about what was going on but they had to take a lot of parts the bodywork off my car. Then there was six minutes to go, then two minutes to go and fortunately everything just came together very quickly.

"The guys did a great job, but for me it was very important to stay as clam as possible because that reflects on all the guys in the garage. So I tried to stay positive and they got the car out on time, which was most important."

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