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Mercedes morale soars after Hamilton's Barcelona barnstormer

Mercedes morale soars after Hamilton's Barcelona barnstormer

Mercedes morale soars after Hamilton's Barcelona barnstormer

Mercedes morale soars after Hamilton's Barcelona barnstormer

Toto Wolff claims Lewis Hamilton's recovery drive in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix has raised the morale of not only the seven-time F1 champion but of everyone at Mercedes.

Hamilton suggested retiring his car at one stage early on to preserve the power unit after a lap-one incident with Haas' Kevin Magnussen that led to a puncture, pit stop and the Briton 40 seconds adrift of the pack when he re-emerged.

But a reassuring message from race engineer Pete Bonington that points were still on the cards resulted in Hamilton delivering a stirring performance that elevated him up to fourth place by the closing laps, only to drop to fifth due to a water leak.

Suggested to Wolff that Hamilton had repaid the team with a great drive after being given a motivational boost by Bonington, he said: "The relationship, the dynamic between the driver and the team is something that is so important.

"It's clear, in having an accident in the early stage of the race, you say to yourself 'Not again!' and you are not featuring.

"He was 38 seconds or so behind the last cars after his pit stop and that's basically game over.

"But him then showing his very good pace was important for not only his morale but also our morale.

"Who would have thought he would climb all the way to fourth before the problem came up."

Hamilton mindset should not be questioned

An element of surprise, however, was Hamilton's message given he has ordinarily been so determined over the years to fight through adversity.

Asked of Wolff whether Hamilton's words were a result of his difficult start to this season compared to being in a winning car in past years, the Austrian was dismissive.

"On the contrary, that was a sentence of 'I can't believe that'. It was not what he meant," replied Wolff.

"You are not describing a driver that comes back from 38 seconds behind the last guy, storms to the front, puts in the fastest consecutive lap times throughout the race and ends up in P5.

"That shows his quality, mindset and determination."

Wolff has conceded the issues in the dying stages of the race, not only on Hamilton's car but with that of George Russell's W13 overheating are a concern, although the searing 37-degree heat throughout had a major impact.

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