MONACO • Lewis Hamilton has thanked his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg's former mechanics following his win in the Monaco Grand Prix, one which has put his ambition for a fourth Formula One world title back on track.
Rosberg won the first four races of the season after it was announced that the two drivers' teams had virtually been swopped for the year, with five changes on each side.
But Hamilton's success on Sunday, his first since last October's United States Grand Prix in Austin, cut Rosberg's lead over him from 43 points to 24, with the German driver only able to finish seventh.
Hamilton said: "I think this will be a boost for my mechanics, who have been nervous all year. It's not easy coming from one side of the garage to the world champion's car.
"It must be a great relief for them and I'm grateful to them for sticking with me. Hopefully it will give them the confidence to know that I'm as strong as I've always been and I will be for the rest of the year."
Following technical problems with Hamilton's car in a number of the early races this season, Mercedes assured their fans that there was "No A or B team here".
Now the Briton is relishing the prospect of the next race in Canada in just under a fortnight, where he has won four times. "I know how quick I am round Monaco, but it was only my second win," he said. "It's such a difficult race to win and this was the hardest."
However, there is more than Rosberg in the mix for victory now, after Max Verstappen's win for Red Bull in Spain and Daniel Ricciardo's near miss to come second to Hamilton in Monaco.
Both their cars will have significant engine upgrades for the high-speed Montreal circuit and Christian Horner, Red Bull's team principal, is anxious to put right the catastrophic wrong of a botched pit stop in Monaco that cost Ricciardo victory.
The Australian driver was bitter in defeat and Horner will worry that one of the best talents in F1 will be so frustrated that he will be tempted by a move to Ferrari.
Victory in Canada would soon put their relationship on an even footing. "We are nine points from Ferrari in the constructors' championship, Daniel is third in the drivers' championship and we were competitive with our first pole position since 2013, so there were a lot of positives," Horner said.
THE GUARDIAN, THE TIMES, LONDON