Hamilton had a frustrating first lap at Monza after starting from the back with an engine failure, still finishing 19th. And hoping to challenge Carlos Sainz in the final safety car and race) “The fun of fighting people is a thousand times faster,” he said. “When I started my first kart, it was like an old kart, it was all bent and we always had to start from the back, with old tires. That’s what I always like to do.
“So starting today, it’s a lot more fun to have these fights than to start and then withdraw. It’s a different challenge. But I prefer to fight with people.
“It’s totally different when you win, you’re proud of everyone. I like the idea of moving forward. So today I feel like I’m climbing the ladder. Progress is a good thing.”
Hamilton suffered some damage to the front wheel “eyebrows” on the first lap.
“I didn’t have any contact with anyone, I don’t think,” he said. “But I saw some debris from someone else’s car flying onto mine. I thought it would damage the front flaps on the tires. I don’t even know what those things are for. But it’s flapping, that are damaged. They block your view, that’s all!”
Nicholas Latifi , Williams FW44, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03
Photo by Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Hamilton admits some frustration with the safety car means he won’t be able to challenge Sainz in the end, although he admits the Ferrari driver will have the tyre advantage.
“The soft started to come off a bit, and I think they stopped, so they put in new tires, so I might not be able to get past him. But, I really enjoy fighting with you guys, slow Drive the car slowly. It was definitely a challenge from the start.
“Naturally like a race car driver, you just want more time, I want o to be able to I challenged Ferrari in front of me to see if I could get another position.
“But I think in hindsight it might have been a good ending. I’m really grateful to be back from the last line.”
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When the safety car first appeared, Hamilton had no regrets about not changing the tires: “My tires feel good. I feel like I can keep them warm. And I don’t want to give up.
“They said there were two people in my pit window. So if I make a pit stop, I’ll come out behind two people. I don’t want to take risks. So I just stayed outside. This time, let’s go with the flow. Gamble like roulette, prefer black or red. “