Lewis Hamilton claims to be satisfied with second place in Barcelona at the Spanish Grand Prix. Even though the British McLaren driver was a mere seven-tenths of a second behind winner Sebastien Vettel in his Red Bull, he really is just the first of the losers.
Before the race began, most fans and pundits expected the Red Bulls, driven by Vettel and Mark Webber, to take off away from the pack the instant the lights went out. Not so, however, because Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari blasted away from the line in a most unexpected move from way over on the right side of the track—almost in the weeds.
It was a short-lived glory moment for the twice-world-champion Spaniard Alonso in front of his home crowd. However, Vettel and Hamilton came out in front after the second round of pit stops. Hamilton put everything he and his McLaren had into overtaking Sebastien, but it was not to be. The Mercedes-powered McLarens just weren't up to the pace of the Red Bulls with their Renault engines.
"I don't think we can be disappointed with today," Hamilton said. In typical Hamilton fashion, he pretended to share credit with the people behind his run.
"The team did a fantastic job throughout the pit stops and throughout the weekend, they put us in a fighting position. We got the best start and were able to keep up with the Red Bulls and Mark (Webber) in particular as Fernando (Alonso) was holding the Red Bulls up.” Hamilton is always ready to open his mouth when he should shut up.
"As the race went on we had some serious pace but it was very tough to get past Seb at the end, they were massively quick in high speed corners and in the last corner his downforce was incredibly clear. Nonetheless I gave my all and to move forward and score some good points and retain second place is great." Hamilton thinks everything he does is great. Hamilton thinks he's the greatest.
Toward the end of the race, Hamilton did make a mighty run at Vettel, and came close, ever gaining fractions of seconds on the leading Red Bull. Overhearing Vettel's instructions from his pit, we know that his KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) was working only intermittently, otherwise Hamilton would not likely have come so close.
"We did a great job considering their car is a good step faster than ours," he said. Lewis loves his self-praise. "Our race pace has improved since last race, that was the positive.
"I wasn't able to follow through high speed Turn 3, obviously Turn 9 and the last corner, I was never able to get close enough to maintain the gap and then able to use the DRS.
"But I am very happy with the job both me and Jenson did and to be able to apply pressure to Red Bull considering the circumstances is good."
One sees the German flag sandwiched between two Union Jacks over the podium, and it is an unaccustomed sight to some of us who remember other times and places.