Lewis Hamilton’s Miami Grand Prix weekend had a difficult start and was frustrating until the last 15 laps when he managed to pull off a battling final stint. Giving him the satisfaction of “what I live for”. Hamilton had been running outside the points for the first part of the race. He needed pit stops from other cars to promote him into the top 10. A long opening stint and a series of overtakes lifted Hamilton to a sixth-place finish that looked unlikely to begin with.
Despite his frustration, Hamilton found release when his tyre advantage allowed him to make some crucial overtakes. He passed Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen. He eventually caught up to Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly, passing them in the final few laps of the race. This impressive drive resulted in a decent points haul for Mercedes, which was a welcome psychological shift for Hamilton.
After the race, Hamilton expressed his satisfaction with the final stint. Describing it as a detox of all that came before it. He emphasized that he is not in Formula 1 to finish sixth but to fight for something. This final stint allowed him to do just that.
Hamilton’s weekend got off to a bad start when he qualified in 13th place. Which was a new low for him in a disappointing season. The Mercedes car struggled to keep up with its competitors. Hamilton’s frustration began with how the final run in Q2 was managed. Starting on hard tyres and running long, Hamilton needed patience and perseverance in the race. But any prospects were threatened by lap one contact with Nico Hulkenberg.
Despite the challenges, Hamilton did a good, effective job in favourable circumstances, which he had done well to set up for himself. While he may not have had the prodigious pace of some of his competitors, Hamilton’s sharp racecraft and ability to seize opportunities left a rare impression that he was truly enjoying himself.
Hamilton acknowledged that if he had qualified where he probably should have qualified, his day would have been much smoother, but he preferred days like this where there was adversity and he had to pull it all together to deliver. Overall, it was a satisfying end to a difficult weekend for the seven-time Formula 1 champion.