Hamilton 'proud to be writing history' with Mercedes
Spanish Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton was delighted to be part of another Mercedes 1-2 race success, their fifth in a row at the start of the 2019 season.
“This is history in the making to have five 1-2s," Hamilton said after the finish which saw him beat his team mate Valtteri Bottas. "I'm very, very happy."
Hamilton won it by making the better launch from the grid and getting into turn 1 ahead of Bottas, who had previously blazed to pole by a big margin in qualifying 24 hours earlier.
"It was an interesting start and very, very close," acknowledged Hamilton. "I knew that Valtteri would brake super-deep, so it wasn't a replay of what happened in Baku."
Once in the lead, Hamilton's victory never appeared in doubt. He also picked up the bonus point for the fastest lap in the race - something Bottas managed back in Melbourne. It means Hamilton is now seven points ahead of the Finn in the driver standings.
“Yesterday was a bit of a nightmare but race pace has generally been quite good for me," said Hamilton. "I've been really happy, comfortable generally in the races."
However, initially it hadn't looked like that was going to be the case on Sunday.
"When we went out to do the laps to the grid, I wasn't very happy with the balance still," he reported. "I had to make some changes, had to alter my driving style a little bit. But it worked well in the race."
Hamilton said it was down to the phenomenal team work at Mercedes in delivering a new set up upgrades for the first European race of the season.
"The overall performance of this team is remarkable," he said. "Everyone has worked so hard, and to come here with an upgrade and be so dominant this weekend is a real demonstration of how powerful this team is.
“[It's] something that delivered on every aspect and I'm very, very proud of everyone back at the factory and thankful for all their hard work," he added. "It was always faultless.
"We're so united, and my job each weekend is just to come in and deliver for the team."
Talking with Sky Sports F1 after the race, Hamilton admitted that his performance in qualifying on Saturday had left him downhearted. He had been slower that Bottas by a huge 0.634s at a circuit that he usually excels at.
Although battery issues had been suggested as a partial reason for his lack of relative speed to his team mate, Hamilton admitted that he had needed buoying up overnight.
"When I woke up this morning, I was a bit lost and kind of 'How's today going to go?'" he said, revealing that a social media message from a young fan had helped him bounce back.
"I arrived today and I got this great message from this young kid called Harry and he just became my spirit, that was my inspiration.
"I was like 'I see you Harry, I've got you'", he added. "So I want to dedicate this one to Harry. If you're watching, sending you the love.
"I was super inspired by this young kid," he said. "You try to go out there to do something for someone but it doesn't always work out as it has.
"He's watching and I'll send him a message shortly after this. We're going to try to do something special for him."
"We've sent him a card and a cap, and before the race I was chilled but was looking for some inspiration, something to grab onto.
"So many people sent such great messages out there and everybody loved the message he sent me. It means a lot to me.
"He could have chosen any other driver, of course, and on the most difficult of days to have sent a message like that is very humbling and much appreciated."
Hamilton also wanted to honour Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes' parent company Daimler, who is retiring this month. He was given the honour of appearing on the podium in Spain alongside Hamilton and Bottas.
"This is his last race with us and I just want to say a big thank you to him," said Hamilton.
"He's been a massive supporter of mine since I was 13," he continued. "When I went to McLaren he was part of the decision-making process of whether I got the Formula 1 drive in 2007.
"Then joining this team, again, and every year from then we've had to re-sign."