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Hamilton says comfortable victory 'a real surprise' after Silverstone problems

17/08/20

The Briton felt tyre management had been decisive.

Lewis Hamilton was surprised to take a straightforward victory at the Spanish Grand Prix after Mercedes had huge issues with their tyres in the previous two races.

Six-time world champion Hamilton extended his lead in the driver standings to 37 points on Sunday by winning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for a fourth straight year.

He ended up 24 seconds clear of Max Verstappen in second, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who was third, the only other man not to be lapped.

The dominant win came after Hamilton and Bottas had encountered serious problems with their tyres in the two races at Silverstone which preceded this one.

Hamilton had to limp to victory with a puncture at the British Grand Prix as Bottas dropped out of the points, while Verstappen triumphed at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, prompting Mercedes to label him the pre-race favourite in Barcelona.

"It was a real surprise because we had this problem with the tyres," Hamilton said after his victory.

"Tyre management was very, very good and I think ultimately we had an understanding of what happened last week and what we brought into this weekend has enabled us to do what we did.

"It was hard work. The heat is crazy. I was focused on getting a perfect start and after that is was about managing the tyres.

"We didn't know how quick the Red Bulls were so I tried to get a measure of Max while the tyres evened out early on. I think tyre management was the difference in the end."