Back-in-form Hamilton still challenged by 'easy' wins
Lewis Hamilton has insisted his lights-to-flag Formula 1 wins remain a challenge from behind the wheel even if they may not be fun for the fans.
Following a difficult season-opening weekend in Austria in which the six-time F1 champion was hit with a grid penalty and a time penalty, while there were repeated warnings during the race to stay off the kerbs for fear of a DNF, Hamilton bounced back in spectacular fashion for the second race at the Red Bull Ring.
The Mercedes driver produced arguably one of the best qualifying laps of his career to claim pole position in horrific wet conditions by 1.2 seconds, and then produced a faultless performance during a race in which he was never troubled.
Reflecting on the two weekends overall, and in particular, analysing the second of those, Hamilton provided a lengthy assessment.
"When you're doing a good job, and you're doing it the way you know you can do it, there really isn't a much better feeling," said Hamilton.
"I honestly feel I prepared the best I could for the first race. Ultimately, there were some scenarios and choices that could have been made better, or better circumstances I could have put myself in, and there was a domino effect of these things that tend to happen.
"For the second weekend I started off with a positive frame of mind, obviously P1 [first practice] was good; P2 was a bit of a disaster, but I sat with the guys, we dissected the data and [we] tried to pull it all together.
"Going into the Saturday it rained, and I was just hoping to get out and qualify. I was actually quite happy we didn't have P3 because it would have given everyone else more practice running, so I knew what I had to do if qualifying started.
"And that's what I did. I kept my head, I didn't make any mistakes, and then obviously for the race, [setting out] with the same mind frame as Saturday.
"Of course, it's much different starting first than it is from fifth. Nonetheless, I would always say I enjoy races more fighting from further back. That's the way it's been since I was a kid, since I first started in karting because I was always at the back in a shitty go-kart.
"But leading from the front is a different scenario, and I will definitely take it. It's a different type of management, a different type of race, and perhaps not fun for you [media] and the fans to watch, but I wouldn't say any less challenging for myself, just different.
"I tried to affect it the best way I could and I think I got everything and more."
Hamilton, though, is not taking anything for granted, particularly from Red Bull's Max Verstappen, from whom he is expecting more of a tougher challenge as the season moves on.
"Max was quite quick," added Hamilton, following the Dutchman's third place in Styria. "So it just shows that they’re definitely not a pushover.
"I think they’ve done a fantastic job so we’ve got to stay on our toes. We’ve got to go to places like Hungary, where the shorter Red Bull is usually very, very strong."
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