Lewis Hamilton continued his impressive start to the 2021 season as he once again defeated Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas to secure a thrilling victory in the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday.
However, the credit for Hamilton's victory certainly had to be shared between the driver's brilliance on the track as well as Mercedes' think-tank off the track. After Red Bull's Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton early in the race, it looked like that the 5-time champion might have to settle with the second position in Spain. However, Mercedes' backroom staff had completely different plans as they opted for a two-stop strategy, which took everyone by surprise. The risk paid dividends as Hamilton looked unstoppable after that stop and eventually overtook Verstappen to claim an epic win.
They are just fantastic: Toto Wolff heaps praise on his team
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff praised James Vowles for coming up with a brilliant plan and executing it to perfection. He said, "They are just fantastic and the mathematicians and strategists coming up with all the simulations, you ask for a plan... and in our plan, if we had to stop now, we would end up catching him one lap to the end, and we would have a tyre differential of 1.4s, and we believed that it is enough and we trust them and we trust the data."
However, Wolff humorously criticized his team for being wrong with their calculations as Hamilton eventually ended catching up with Verstappen four laps to the end.
Lewis Hamilton thanks his team for their hard work
The Mercedes driver himself was absolutely pleased with his team's brilliance in Spain. After winning the race, he thanked James for the master plan and said, "Great job with the strategy. I definitely had to work for but.. that was great, absolutely great. Well done! To all the men and women in this team, man. You guys just continue to impress me! And look what we can continue to achieve together. Thank you so much for all the hard work."