Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton – he got the tyres strategy right for the Belgian Grand Prix and stormed home to victory and back to the top of the championship.
The McLaren racer triumphed during the chaotic race, which even saw him escape from the gravel trap and avoid slamming into the tyres wall.
Having beaten polesitter Webber off the line into the first corner, Hamilton confessed he had hoped for a straightforward dry race and admits the changing grip levels had been a big challenge.
“It was a great weekend,” he said after reclaiming the championship lead from Webber.
“[It was] Very, very tough race for me, [although it was the] same for everyone.
“[I was] Praying for just a race that went smoothly but obviously with the conditions when it started to rain, losing temperature in the tyres and not really knowing how much you could push in each corner.”
Prior to the late onset of wet weather Hamilton had been told over the radio on several occasions by his race engineer that McLaren would wait until it became clear a switch to intermediate tyres was definitely necessary before they brought him into the pits.
It meant he, along with the top runners, had to carry on for an extra lap in the increasingly slippery conditions – something Hamilton admits was difficult to manage, but the only sensible strategy.
“It’s a difficult call because the team are telling you there’s rain coming and the previous times it was just a little light shower and it dries up very quickly, but you didn’t know what to expect,” he said.
“Although there was very dark clouds above us, it begun to rain quite heavily and you’re praying you wish you can come in – but it’s too late once you’ve gone past the pit lane.
“But fortunately I got round and changed the tyres. They had a fantastic pit stop – probably the best one I’ve had this year – and I guess that’s what helped get us out there.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team