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Hamilton: Passing Leclerc for the lead felt 'weird'

  • 01 Apr 2019 09:09
  • comments 0
  • By: Coilin Higgins

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton admits it felt 'weird' to pass Ferrari's Charles Leclerc after the Monegasque driver developed a problem with his car's power unit late on in the race, allowing Hamilton to easily pass the Ferrari for victory.

Prior to the problem, Leclerc looked on course for his first ever Formula 1 victory.

Leclerc, who also grabbed his very first F1 pole position in Saturday's qualifying, suffered an engine issue which significantly slowed his car, allowing Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas to easily catch and pass the young Ferrari driver.

Leclerc looked set for an agonising fourth place finish, however a late safety car stopped Red Bull's Max Verstappen from passing him.

“I went past Charles on the back straight and I raised my hand to him because there was nothing I could do, I didn’t have any problems," Hamilton said.

"It feels weird and honestly you can’t believe your luck in that scenario but what can you do? You can’t deny yourself, you just have to keep doing what you do."

Hamilton was very sympathetic towards Leclerc during and after the race, raising his hand towards the Ferrari driver as he passed, as well as congratulating and praising him after the race itself.

Hamilton found himself in a similar position during the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix, where an engine fire put him out of an in and a possible championship advantage that year.

“It’s always good to live with the glass half-full,” Hamilton continued. “Today he still got some great points [with third place], even though he had that problem, and he was so much faster than his teammate.

"I’ve been in positions like that before, where you’ve been in the lead and the car has stopped, so I know how it feels.”


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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Spain
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Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
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Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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