Lewis Hamilton makes Max Verstappen admission

Lewis Hamilton finished 24 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen at last weekend's Spanish GP.

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed an excellent Spanish Grand Prix last weekend to get him within 12 points of third-placed Fernando Alonso in the Drivers’ Championship, following his second P2 of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Hamilton matched his result from the Australian Grand Prix to move 22 points clear of team-mate George Russell, who finished third at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to secure Mercedes’ first double podium since the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The seven-time World Champion recovered well in Barcelona given that he severely struggled during free practice on Friday, something which saw reserve driver Mick Schumacher complete a late-night simulator session in Brackley.

Whatever Schumacher and the simulator team discovered seemingly worked a treat, as Hamilton looked much better on Saturday in qualifying.

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He actually came incredibly close to starting on the front row alongside reigning World Champion Max Verstappen; however, he had to settle for fourth.

Hamilton’s pace was even better on Sunday as he breezed his way into second, after escaping an opening lap collision with Lando Norris without a puncture.

The 38-year-old went on to have a lonely race, as a result of having boasted the second strongest pace on the grid.

Another reason why his race was so lonely is because race winner and two-time World Champion Max Verstappen was imperious, with the Dutchman having won by 24 seconds.

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Hamilton admitted after the seventh race of the season that catching the 25-year-old was “impossible”, highlighting that Red Bull do still hold a significant advantage over the Germans.

The biggest positive for Mercedes though, is that the initial indicators do suggest that their new concept is working, having finished no lower than fifth since they introduced it in Monaco.

“It was like last year, but thankfully I didn’t have any damage this time,” Hamilton said.

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“After that, I was trying as hard as I could to get up to second and chase down Max, but that was impossible.”

Hamilton added: “It was very hard to predict and the balance was poor on Friday.

“Mick [Schumacher] did some great work in the simulator back at the factory and we did some strong analysis overnight, made the set-up changes for Saturday and the car felt good.”