The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS continued their dominance in 2014 with their tenth one-two finish of the year in Austin last week, with Lewis Hamilton’s victory increasing the gap to team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Drivers’ Championship to 24-points with just this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to go.
After taking the win in Austin last weekend, Hamilton admitted to feeling incredible, especially with the fans support at the track. He has amazed himself with the run of five consecutive wins he has had, with the last one in the United States making him the most successful British driver in F1 history with 32 career wins ahead of Nigel Mansell.
“Winning in the States was just an incredible feeling,” insisted Hamilton. “I love spending time there and it’s fantastic to see how much the sport is growing. I was just blown away by the support I had all weekend, which made the win even more special. Once I got ahead in the race there was no looking back and I still can’t quite believe the run we’ve had recently. The team are doing an incredible job.”
Hamilton won the 2008 championship in Brazil in thrilling circumstances, overtaking the Toyota of Timo Glock right at the final corner to move into fifth place to deny Felipe Massa of Ferrari the title, and looking back, he admitted he did not know if he had done enough at the time.
“Next up, of course, we have Brazil – which is another very, very special place for me,” said Hamilton. “In 2008 I needed to finish fifth or better to take the title and, until the very last corner of the last lap, I was running sixth. I passed Timo (Glock) down the inside and, as I crossed the line, I didn’t know if I’d done it or not. I honestly though I’d lost it until quite a while after the flag, when the team came over the radio to tell me I’d won the World Championship. That was an incredible emotional roller coaster and a moment that will stay with me for my entire life.
“My record at Interlagos hasn’t actually been the best so far in terms of results, though, with only one podium all the way back in 2009. I’m hoping this weekend will be the one to change that.”
Team-mate Rosberg was downbeat after losing more ground in the championship to Hamilton after failing to convert pole position into a win for the seventh time in 2014, but is looking to bounce back this weekend at Interlagos as he bids to close the 24-point gap.
“The weekend in Austin was a tough one for me,” reflected Rosberg. “Qualifying was obviously fantastic but I was disappointed to let the lead slip away in the race and to lose more points in the fight for the Drivers’ Championship. In the end, Lewis just did a better job on the day and now it’s up to me to make the most of these last two races and capitalise on any opportunity. It will be tough, but I’m going to give it absolutely everything I’ve got right up to the flag in Abu Dhabi.
“That first opportunity comes this weekend at the Brazilian Grand Prix – one of the classic races on the calendar. There is so much history there and, of course, there have been many great Brazilian drivers in Formula One. I’ve got a mixed record at this circuit but it’s one I really enjoy as it’s usually a really action-packed race. It would be great to give my title challenge a final boost with a good result before we head to the showdown in Abu Dhabi.”