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Hamilton stresses 'value' of remarkable Imola fightback in quest for eighth F1 title

Hamilton stresses 'value' of remarkable Imola fightback in quest for eighth F1 title

F1 News

Hamilton stresses 'value' of remarkable Imola fightback in quest for eighth F1 title

Hamilton stresses 'value' of remarkable Imola fightback in quest for eighth F1 title
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Lewis Hamilton has cited his recovery drive to second in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as "valuable" to his quest for a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 championship.

The Mercedes driver was hunting down rival Max Verstappen when he slid off whilst lapping George Russell's Williams at Tosa, losing eight positions as he reversed his way out of the gravel trap before pitting for a new front wing.

At one stage, Hamilton was on course to lose 26 points as Verstappen led with the fastest lap.

But after a red-flag period, ironically caused by team-mate Valtteri Bottas' frightening incident with Russell, the reigning champion was able to recover to second place, as well claim the fastest lap to retain his championship lead by a point to Verstappen.

"I think, without doubt, getting back to second and getting these points will be very valuable through the season," said Hamilton.

"If I’d lost 25 points, that would have been hard to recover, based on the fact that Red Bull...it’s the first time they’ve had a championship-winning car [in the current turbo-hybrid era]. Their car is incredibly fast.

"They were faster than us across the weekend, definitely in qualifying trim but it looks like a little bit also in race trim.

"I don’t know if they made a couple of mistakes, I think they did. Max did in qualifying, for example, otherwise, he would have been on pole."

Lando Norris joined Verstappen and Hamilton on the podium following a late tussle with Charles Leclerc for third.

With McLaren and Ferrari both showing signs of improvement, Hamilton is wary of potential pressure from both outfits.

"We’ve got a real close battle, which we love," added Hamilton.

"It’s great to see McLaren back up there after such a long time, it’s great to see Ferrari looking strong so there’s going to be a lot of exciting races up ahead and challenging for all of us in so many different ways."

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