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IN WORDS: Power Mode Error Helped Me Defend – Lewis

IN WORDS: Power Mode Error Helped Me Defend – Lewis

Lewis Hamilton says selecting the wrong power mode actually helped him defend against Sebastian Vettel as the pair fought for the Belgian Grand Prix win after the late Safety Car.

'I was able to catch him out'

Lewis' mistake meant Vettel closed on the back of the Mercedes into La Source - Turn 1 - but then had a compromised run through Eau Rouge as the Ferrari was too close.

This allowed Lewis to defend into Les Combes - Turn 5 - and deprived Vettel of his best chance to pass on the UltraSoft tyre.

"Initially I got a very good restart," Lewis explained. "When we were on the back straight I could really pull away from him and I was able to catch him out as I was able to do in Baku on those three or four restarts behind the safety car.

"I broke away but then I didn't have the right power mode. I pulled away initially and then he started catching me up when he went into the last corner. Initially it felt like a mistake but as an actual fact it was a really good thing."

Lewis explained that he purposely didn't used full throttle to keep Vettel backed up, knowing that the Ferrari racer would not want to pass too early on the long straight for fear of being re-passed, with Lewis benefiting from a slipstream.

'It was a cool battle'

"In Turn 1 I had really cold tyres so I had this lock up and he was on the gas before me, I could hear him," said Lewis. "Then as we were going down the straight I just didn't keep it fully lit the whole way - I just kept it 90% just to keep him as close as possible.

"I knew he wouldn't come by because he knows that I would overtake him at the top part with the tow. As we were going up Eau Rouge that is when I really gave it maximum power. I got to the top and he had no space to really propel himself. He just pulled out alongside.

"It was a cool battle. It was really great to go into Turn 5 having just done enough to stay ahead. I was really happy with that.

"After that I was really like nine, ten laps of qualifying. Just fast laps to try and continue that gap. He was very quick, he had the better tyre. I had to pull out some really good laps in order to stay ahead of him because he was very, very quick in that second phase."

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