Lewis Hamilton says that he felt ”really chilled” during the final lap of the British Grand Prix, in which he was forced to drive to the finish line with a punctured tyre.
The six-time world champion won his home race but Mercedes had major cause for concern as Hamilton's puncture came only two laps after his teammate Valtteri Bottas suffered the same fate.
While Hamilton was able to get to the end with Max Verstappen rapidly closing in, Bottas made a pit stop and dropped out of the points.
Speaking about the final lap, Hamilton said: “You may or may not be surprised, but I was really chilled for some reason at the end.
"Bono [Peter Bonnington, Hamilton's race engineer] was giving me the information of the gap. I think it was 30 seconds at one stage and it was coming down quite quickly, and in my mind I'm thinking 'OK, how far is it to the end of the lap?'
“But the car seemed to turn okay through Maggots and Becketts, thankfully. I got to [Turn] 15 and that's where it really was a bit of a struggle, and I could hear the gap coming down from 19 to 10.
“So I thought I would just give it full gas out of 15 down to 16, and then the thing wasn't stopping. I got to the corner, a lot of understeer and I heard him go '9, 8, 7' - and I was like, just get back on the power and try to get the thing to turn.”
Hamilton added that there was no indication that his tyre was about to give way, admitting that he had even been doing tyre management up to that point.
“Up until that last lap, everything was relatively smooth sailing," Hamilton said. “The tyres felt great. Valtteri was really pushing incredibly hard and I was doing some management of that tyre and he looked like he wasn't doing any.
“When I heard that his tyre went, I was just looking at mine and everything seemed fine. The car was still turning. No problem. So, I was thinking maybe it's OK.
“The last few laps, I started to back off and then down the straight, it just deflated. I just noticed the shape just shift a little bit.
“That was definitely a heart-in-the-mouth kind of feeling because I wasn't quite sure if it had gone down until I hit the brakes, and you could see the tyre was falling off the rim.
“Then just driving it, trying to keep the speed up, because sometimes it will take off and break the wing and all these different things. Oh my God, I was just praying to try and get around and not be too slow.
“I nearly didn't get around the last two corners, but thank God we did. I really owe it to the team. I think ultimately maybe we should have stopped towards the end once we saw the delaminations.”