SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Lewis Hamilton says the thought of fighting for victory crossed his mind during the Belgian Grand Prix, but ultimately the gap to Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo proved too big and he had to settle for third.
Hamilton salvaged third place and 15 points from the Spa-Francorchamps weekend after several engine change penalties saw him start from the back row of the grid. Hamilton was up to fifth by the time the race was suspended following Kevin Magnussen's accident, but despite moving up to third past Nico Hulkenberg, the gaps to Ricciardo in second and Rosberg in first were too big to attack.
"Of course the thought of winning crosses my mind but I am also conscious that the gap is already quite big," he said. "But for Nico, who was obviously having a Sunday drive today, he didn't have any stress from anyone and he was gone by the time I had even got past the Force India [for third]. So, at that point I was just trying to fight for as many points as possible."
Hamilton said his difficulties with the tyres -- which stemmed from unusually high pressures at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend -- also hindered his chances of catching Ricciardo.
"I've been racing a long long time and with these tyres, knowing how difficult it is just to get past one car, so I spent a bit of time behind Hulkenberg, I think, and then there was already such a decent cushion between myself and Daniel.
"If the tyres were better, for example, I could have pushed and closed the gap and actually had a fight with Daniel but that's not the case and so I just had to manage them for as long as I could, but I had to stop more than these two guys in order to make that passing manoeuvre."