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Lewis Hamilton speaks about last week's win

DISAPPOINTED: Despite high hopes, Lewis Hamilton recorded a loss today

IT MAY have looked like a stroll in the park but Lewis Hamilton said he fought every step of the way to secure his first victory of the Formula One season.

All roads lead to Bahrain for the third race of the season and with both Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton on the same amount of points - early predictions of a season-long driver duel between the two former champions look like being correct.

Assessing his performance in Shanghai Hamilton said:

“I went out in inters initially, on the laps to the grid, and then I tried the slicks and it was impossible, and then we all started on inters and it was very, very hard, because there was a lot of dry patches everywhere, mostly dry except for a couple of corners that were wet.

“So trying to keep the car on the track and look after the tyres at the same time was very tough. A great job done by Sebastian and this young dude here (Max Verstappen).”

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He added:

“I think it’s going to be one of the closest ones (championships), if not the closest I’ve personally ever experienced and I’m looking forward to this fight, not only with Sebastian but the other guys as well who are still gonna be in amongst it.

“We were just saying that we were both pushing. Those last 20 laps or so, really exchanging times. I kept having to be fed what times he was doing so I could try to match and he was closing the gap a little bit, but I managed to stay ahead.”

It was the third grand slam of Hamilton’s career insofar as the Stevenage-born racer landing pole position, the win, registering the fastest lap and leading every lap.

Looking ahead to what he expected from himself in Bahrain however, he said:

“Being that it’s often a warmer race, Ferrari is very good in hotter conditions.

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“These were quite good conditions for me today with our car. When it steps up in temperature.. So far in the first race it’s been shown as not the greatest for us just yet, so we’re just learning on the tyres.

“Hopefully it will be better... it will definitely be better than it was in the Melbourne. I think they will be very quick in the next race but there’s a lot of straights there as well and we’ve obviously got, I think, still the strongest power unit on the grid, so I think that will come into play, for sure.”

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