Lewis Hamilton clinched second place in changeable conditions in Imola despite hitting the barrier on lap 31 and falling to ninth position before the race was restarted on lap 34 following a red flag. Valtteri Bottas suffered a DNF after an incident with Williams’ George Russell on lap 33. Lewis set the fastest lap of the race to claim the bonus point on offer. Lewis (44 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 1 point from Max Verstappen (43 points) with Valtteri (16 points) in P5. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (60 points) leads Red Bull (53 points) by 7 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Considering I was facing the barrier at one stage, then a lap down, yeah, it was a difficult day in that regard. I had some really good pace in the rain and was catching but just a little bit impatient, maybe, with the backmarkers. I’m only human so these mistakes happen. I’m grateful that I was back in the race and could hunt down and get back to second. The car had a rough time today. I started first, should have been first at the finish but these things are sent to test us and we’ve got a great battle on our hands. Game on.
I’m okay physically. It was a half-decent shunt but obviously could have been a lot worse at that speed. George got close and decided to go for a move. Obviously the track is quite narrow, there is only one dry line and he went for the outside, there was space all the time for two cars but he obviously lost the car and hit me. I haven’t spoken to him so far: I couldn’t hear a thing what he was on about and obviously we will have a different perspective on it. It was a tough race until then, from where I started it wasn’t easy to make ground. But I need to take whatever positives I can from this weekend and move on.
Leading the Championship with the fastest lap is one thing but what actually gives it a silver lining or positive connotation today is that we seem to have a really quick race car.
Unfortunately, the crash between George and Valtteri was unnecessary. Valtteri had a difficult first 30 laps and shouldn’t have been there but George should have never launched into this manoeuvre considering that the track was drying up. It meant taking risks and the other car is a Mercedes in front of him and in any drivers’ development as a young driver you must never lose this global perspective. Lots to learn for him I guess.
Apart from that we had all highs and lows from the incident in the first corner which cost us two tenths in aero performance on Lewis’ car. Then we had Lewis hitting the barrier on lap 31. The recovery drive from Lewis after the race restarted was really brilliant, ten out of ten.
Overall, today was very difficult to judge because of the circumstances but we had a very good car today in the wet and in the drying up. We are slowly starting to understand it but according to the data we are still not having a car and power unit that can match the Red Bull Honda.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1