Lewis Hamilton 'very happy' with U.S. GP but doesn't care for drivers' title placing
Hamilton credits best result since Spa to new chassis
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 17/11/13 10:54pm
Lewis Hamilton expressed his satisfaction with his fourth-place finish in the U.S. GP - but has admitted he regards moving into third place in the Drivers' Championship as irrelevant.
The Briton, who described his recent run of results as "shocking" in the build-up to this weekend, hasn't finished on the podium since August and appeared to be becoming frustrated mid-way through Sunday's race with the need to save his tyres via conflicting radio instructions over the level of information he wanted from his race engineer.
However, after coming home ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in fourth to record his best finish in seven races, Hamilton, who raced with a new W04 chassis this weekend, cut an upbeat figure when speaking to Sky Sports F1.
"Definitely, definitely, I'm very, very happy," the 2008 World Champion told Natalie Pinkham.
"Just happy for the guys and happy to have gone forward [in the race]. I'm always talking about staying where I am or going forwards and so really happy with that.
"The team did a great job - the car was night and day difference to what it was in Abu Dhabi. So I'm pretty sure the new tub [chassis] helped."
With Kimi Raikkonen sitting out the final two races to undergo back surgery, Hamilton's 12-point haul from Austin moved him ahead of the absent Finn into third place in the Drivers' Championship.
Red Bull's Mark Webber now needs to outscore Hamilton by seven points at next week's Interlagos finale to deny the Briton his first top-three season placing since 2008. However, Hamilton himself isn't bothered by the prospective achievement.
"It doesn't mean anything. Plus the guy that was in third is not even racing, so it doesn't mean anything to me," Hamilton insisted.
Hamilton has put on record, however, his desire to help Mercedes finish second to Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship - and his fourth place, and Nico Rosberg's two points for ninth, have increased the Brackley team's lead over Ferrari to 15 points.
Despite his early radio messages, the 28-year-old said he took particular enjoyment from being able to manage his pace and tyres in the closing laps to see off Fernando Alonso.
"Really just so happy that I could contribute and get some points for the guys. They have been working so hard all year and they've had some really difficult races in the past half of the season," Hamilton added.
"So to finally have a half-decent qualifying and then move forward and really utilise the tyres and have some life left in the tyres... I was really, really happy that at the end, I could see Fernando was catching, so I was just looking after the tyres to wait until he starts to push.
"He started to push so I just reacted a bit and when he was going to try and bring out a tenth I was going to bring two. When he tried to bring out three I was going to bring fourth. So I was really happy I could do that today."