Lewis Hamilton says he had "a lot of fun" fighting his way through the field in Miami – but added he's "counting down the days" until he gets his hands on the new Mercedes upgrade package in Imola.
The seven-time champ managed to come home in sixth place in Florida despite starting down in P13 after a difficult qualifying session on Saturday.
Starting down the order, Mercedes opted to gamble with the hard tyre off the line, hoping a longer first stint would pay dividends later on. With Hamilton stuck behind Alex Albon in a DRS train, it looked as if traffic would wreck his strategy – but once those around him pitted, he was able to extend the life of his tyres and run long enough to swap to medium tyres much later on.
On fresh rubber, Hamilton picked off Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc to climb to sixth – running out of laps to chase down Carlos Sainz in fifth.
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“I think to get from 13th to sixth I’m pretty happy with that," he said. "Unfortunately, we started so far behind, but I enjoyed the race.
“Saturday was difficult, but I always try to turn negatives into positives. I had a lot of fun making my way through; it was great to have several battles, so I enjoyed it.
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Hamilton explains he 'had a great time' battling from P13 to P6 in Miami
“It wasn’t spectacular at the start as we were stuck in a DRS train and struggling to overtake. I had to bide my time and then eventually, I was able to start attacking. The car was much better on the medium tyre and came alive midway through the race.”
After a breakthrough performance for the W14 in Melbourne, the last two races have been more challenging for Mercedes, with Red Bull’s dominance clear to see. But the Silver Arrows have those much discussed upgrades coming for the next race in Imola – something Hamilton couldn’t hide his excitement for.
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“Definitely been counting down the days for it,” he said. “I’ll find out this week what we are expecting. What kind of trajectory that puts us but I’m really hopeful that helps us take a step forward. I think others might bring upgrades as well, so it will be really interesting to see where we are with the lay of the land but I’m excited.”
Mercedes remain third in the constructors’ championship, just six points behind Aston Martin.