Sky Sports F1 Exclusive: Lewis Hamilton Q&A
The Mercedes driver speaks exclusively to Sky Sports F1 after his stunning - but emotional - victory in the Hungarian GP.
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 28/07/13 7:01pm
Congratulations, Lewis. Before the race on the drivers' parade you were very downbeat about your chances, but this is an incredible win for you, and we heard you say on the podium that was one of the most important of your career?...
Lewis Hamilton: "Winning is just the greatest, of course. I've been on the phone to my mum, who has been incredibly supportive, this weekend, and my dad has been calling me, I've been talking to my dad a lot during the last week, he's been so supportive and just trying to keep my spirits up.
"To come here, after a real downer for the last few weeks, I just wasn't expecting it [victory]. I got into the race, and all of a sudden I was still in the lead and able to look after the tyres, particularly when I put the primes on, and we were improving lap after lap. It was a great feeling. I'm so proud of the team and grateful for all the hard work, and for Ross [Brawn] for giving me the opportunity to be part of the team. I feel like...the thought on my mind through the whole race was of someone who is special to me and I wanted to dedicate it to her..."
And that lady being Nicole?
One of the reasons why the fans love you so much is that you do wear your heart on your sleeve and you do show your emotions. Did you feel that would impact on your race, as you said your parents had to keep your spirits up today?
LH: "Yes, it's been the toughest couple of months of my life. Coming into the race, they were concerned for me and just wanted to try to lift my spirits and help me keep my focus on, and clearly it's not affected my driving. I've been driving great and I've been very happy with how I've been qualifying for the last couple of races, but it just doesn't feel the same nowadays...a couple of years ago we were here together and I think I won, so I have great memories.
"But, as I say, I'm very happy to be here with this team and I really hope, moving forward, that these tyres continue to work for us. If they work at this track, which is one of the toughest temperature-wise, then jeez we might have a good shot at winning more."
On a personal level it's a big boost for you. But it also silences any critics and wholly justifies your move from McLaren to Mercedes?
LH: "Definitely, definitely. I think we are way, way past that anyway. People say to me 'do you think it's a dig back at those people?'. For me, it's just cool, you know. I felt fully in my heart that I had made the right choice, and when I made the choice it was very tough, particularly telling Martin [Whitmarsh] and Ron [Dennis], but for me it was just the right thing for me to do. I just feel great in this team. They are working so hard, the atmosphere is fantastic, they are working so hard, the car is improving constantly, and I am here to win. We've just won the first one on my side of the garage and I hope there are many more to come."