Lewis Hamilton has admitted that a ‘waste of space’ part on his Mercedes car was damaged in the opening stages of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. The seven-time champion managed to recover from a 19th-placed grid start to cross the line in fifth and pick up a welcome haul of points for the Silver Arrows at the historic Monza circuit.
Hamilton appeared to pick up some minor damage to the front of his car within the first few laps after hitting a piece of on-track debris, but managed to soldier on and make up plenty of ground regardless. He went on to reveal after the chequered flag that he was unsure over whether the damage had a detrimental effect on his race pace before insisting that he did even not know what the significance of the affected part was.
“I don’t remember having any contact,” said Hamilton in a post-race interview with Sky Sports F1.
“I avoided collision but there was something definitely damaged. I think I hit a bit of debris as it came off another car and damaged the little fairing on the tyre.
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“I have no idea [if it affected pace or not]. I mean the grip didn’t feel that great, it was flapping around. I don’t even know what those things are for, waste of space.”
The damaged part did not seem to bother Hamilton too much, though, with the 37-year-old mounting an impressive recovery drive to claim a fifth-placed finish in spite of the problem. He also insisted that he thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of climbing up the order before the end of the race, which was won by Max Verstappen and finished under the safety car as a result of Daniel Ricciardo’s late power unit failure.
“It was a good race,” added Hamilton. “The guys were saying that anything between sixth and fourth was possible and that felt a stretch for me. But I had fun.
“I struggled at the beginning, but I’m really, really grateful that I made my way through and got those points. I think at the end, the two cars behind had fresher tyres so I’m kind of glad it finished like it did.”
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