Championship leader Lewis Hamilton reveals that his German Grand Prix top podium was so relaxed he was able to turn down his Mercedes engine down on the second lap.
Pole sitter Nico Rosberg crawled off the line on the start, gobbled up by Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen as his team-mate Hamilton streaked away.
Hamilton was not even on full power here as he beat Ricciardo by seven seconds with Verstappen third in the other Red Bull. ‘I turned down my engine pretty much from the second or third lap,’ Hamilton revealed.
“I think it was. From very early on I had already turned it down and then when he said ‘it’s hammer time’ I was able to switch it back on and eek out the gap when needed.”
“At the end I was trying to make that engine go as far as possible and when you turn it down it’s just easier on the engine, rather than using all the horses. You keep a few on the side and I was hoping to prolong the life … You just don’t know when it’s going to go, none of us do. I just wanted to treat it as well as I could and that’s what I was doing.”
Following the final pit stops, with Hamilton on the soft tyre, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo cut a significant chunk out of the lead. Hamilton says that was simply down to his engine conservation.
“I was 11 seconds ahead and I just took it really easy on my tyres. It got down to five, something like that, and I thought ‘OK, probably got to get back on it now’, which I did. I don’t remember if I opened it up again after that but I felt fully in control the whole race, fortunately, which is not always a scenario you’re in.”
Triple time world champion heads into the summer break buoyant after winning the German GP, his fourth win in a row and sixth in seven races and extending his drivers’ title lead to 19 points.