Lewis Hamilton has been defended by Charles Leclerc with the Ferrari driver adamant it was not solely an excellent Mercedes that prompted two inspiring comebacks at the Brazilian Grand Prix for the Briton last weekend.
The seven-time World Champion produced one of his finest victories in a glittering career at Interlagos.
It was a comfortable P1 for Hamilton in traditional qualifying on Friday, while he was also too good in the sprint on Saturday, shifting from P20 to P5 in just 24 laps following his position at the back due to a technical infringement.
But Hamilton saved the best until last on Sunday, moving his way up from P10 following a grid penalty to pass title rival Max Verstappen with 11 laps to go and seize victory.
The fresh engine clearly led to a significant advantage for Hamilton over his rivals, but Leclerc insists it was not purely machinery that led to victory.
“I don’t agree,” said the Ferrari driver. “Obviously Lewis has a very strong car at the moment, but I think he managed to go beyond what that car could give.”
While fellow Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz also offered Hamilton praise, but insisted the combination was a true reflection of the result.
“Yes, I saw this debate all over social media today,” added the Spaniard.
“Why don’t we talk about a combination of both? A great driver, an enormously talented driver, with a car that was really dominant this weekend.”
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