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Hamilton: Passing Leclerc for the lead felt 'weird'

  • Published on 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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AT Grand Prix of Austria

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  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 3

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    15:10 - 17:10

  • Free practice 2

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

  • Sunday weather-image

  • Race

    15:10 - 17:10

    Fastest lap

    15:10 - 17:10

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