Lewis Hamilton says he has 'no doubt' that victory in Russia was within his grasp before a water pressure issue forced him to nurse...

Hamilton certain he could have won without problem

Lewis Hamilton says he has 'no doubt' that victory in Russia was within his grasp before a water pressure issue forced him to nurse his Mercedes to the finish.

Hamilton made rapid progress from 10th on the grid and was second, 13 seconds behind his race-leading team mate Nico Rosberg, after the first and only round of pit stops. The Briton soon reduced that to around seven seconds, at one stage taking one second a lap from Rosberg’s lead, only for his charge to be halted by technical gremlins.

"There wasn’t a doubt in my mind I could win it," said Hamilton, who went on to finish second.

"I had the pace but I had a problem with the engine again, so I had to back off."

Hamilton stressed that his string of technical issues – including a power unit problem in qualifying which left him unable to take part in Q3 – had not shaken his faith in Mercedes, adding: "Firstly I’d like to thank the guys who flew over from the factory last night, and my mechanics who worked from 2am to get my car ready, because without them I wouldn’t even have got to this point.

"It happened, I just had to try and nurse it home and I’m grateful I finished. We just need to do a better job. It seems to be my side of the garage having a hard time, but I have absolutely every confidence and faith in them.

"We need to work hard in the background. We did 800km a day in testing and the car was seen as bulletproof…"

Hamilton’s fightback allowed him to limit the damage of Rosberg’s seventh straight victory – the German now sits on 100 points, with Hamilton second in the championship on 57.

a source

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