Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he was “a little bit nervous” about the state of his tyres during the closing stages of Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton controlled the British Grand Prix earlier this month but after running a long stint on the Hard tyres suffered a last-lap failure, and had to drag his car across the line.
The front-runners all adopted a Medium/Hard tyre strategy at Spa-Francorchamps but came in earlier than planned, after 11 of 44 laps, when the Safety Car was deployed.
Hamilton ultimately claimed an emphatic victory, his fifth of the campaign, but conceded that he has concerns en route to the chequered flag.
“It wasn’t the easiest of races,” he said. “I had a lock up into Turn 5, which started to give a bit of a vibration, and then one into the last corner.
“The tyre temperatures were slowly dropping no matter how much you were pushing. As you lose rubber you start to lose temperature in the tyres so it was a bit of a struggle.
“Nonetheless I think it was OK. I was a little bit nervous that we were going to have a scenario like Silverstone with the left-front towards the end, so I was nursing it.”
Hamilton led all 44 laps of the race for his fourth career Belgian Grand Prix victory, but was relieved to hold onto top spot early on after a mistake exiting La Source.
“That start is a nightmare because it’s one of the shortest runs to Turn 1 and you saw out of Turn 1 I had a big snap getting on the gas trying to build the gap,” he said.
“Even if I didn’t have that, I would have maybe had a car length but he [Valtteri Bottas] would have eaten that up the straight.
“It worked to my benefit, that snap, because it meant he was right up my chuff and I’m sure he had to lift.
“That meant when we got to the top of the hill he didn’t have enough time to slingshot.”