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Motorsport | Formula 1

Hamilton is a smooth operator in Spain

Lewis Hamilton roared from last place to eighth in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix with a drive that showed he could mix the rough with the smooth.

The 2008 world champion is renowned for an aggressive style at the wheel, while McLaren teammate Jenson Button is more usually hailed for his smoothness.

Sent to the back of the grid at the Circuit de Catalunya after being stripped of pole because McLaren miscalculated how much fuel he had in his car for qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton showed he could treat his tyres with subtlety.

"I'm proud of my performance today, and proud of the team too. They did a great job," he said.

"I was the only driver to attempt a two-stop strategy, and I'm glad I was able to make it work.

"People often say that I have an aggressive driving style, but my final stint on the prime tyre was 31 laps, so I reckon I proved today that I can make tyres last," added the 27-year-old Briton.

Hamilton had said on Saturday evening that he would "race his heart out" and he was as good as his word.

He had gained five places by the first corner and was 18th after the second lap.

By the end of lap eight he was 13th, then 10th after nine and in fourth place with 11 laps gone as others pitted ahead of him.

"It was a huge challenge to come through the field from the back but I never gave up for a single second, right up to the finish line," he said.

"Today was all about damage limitation. But, now, looking at the bigger picture, I can't really complain because, despite the setbacks I've had this season, I'm still only eight points behind the leader of the drivers' world championship."

Hamilton is third overall with 53 points from five races. The next race in Monaco is on his favourite circuit and he will be a favourite to become Formula One's sixth different winner in six races.

"Our car is quick. So, when things go right, I think we'll be in a great position and it'll come to us before too long," added the McLaren driver.


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