Hamilton: I can’t complain that I won but Valtteri was very, very...

Hamilton: I can’t complain that I won but Valtteri was very, very unfortunate

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas
photo: Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton took his 63rd career victory – his first in Azerbaijan and of the 2018 season – on the streets of Baku. His teammate Valtteri Bottas was leading with only two laps to go when debris punctured his right rear tyre.

“I have very mixed emotions”, Hamilton admitted after the chequered flag

“Valtteri deserved to win, he did an exceptional job and had a faultless drive. This is such a crazy and exciting race and I never gave up. I was constantly pushing but it was a real struggle. I feel incredibly grateful to come out with the win.”

“You have to take the ups with the downs and I can’t complain that I won; I will take it and hopefully learn. But Valtteri was very, very unfortunate, a one-two would have been a great result for the team. I would not have got by him in the remaining laps if he hadn’t had his tyre blow. It looks like Ferrari still has the better car, they outperformed us most of the weekend. We were able to just hold on to them during the race. We definitely have some work to do. But we are in the mix and it’s going to be very close. We have to keep our heads down and keep working.”

Bottas did not hide his disappointment

“I’m absolutely heartbroken. It hurts a lot. But this is racing; some days are good, some days are bad – and some days are very bad. A small piece of debris destroyed my entire weekend. We had a good race until the puncture. The car felt really good and we were fast. I thought I had everything under control on the Safety Car restart, but then suddenly my tyre exploded. I didn’t see the debris and I couldn’t feel it until the tyre blew. It was really close the last couple of races, so it’s good that our team won, but I’m obviously still very disappointed. I’ll try again in two weeks.”