Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton: “I have a huge admiration for this team”

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Lewis Hamilton moved one step closer to his third World Drivers’ Championship with his ninth victory of the season at the Sochi Autodrom on Sunday, with the Briton revealing his admiration for his team following the result.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver admitted to feeling ‘amazing’ following the result in Russia, and was trying to not make any mistakes during the race so to be able to make the one-stop strategy work for him.

“It’s just an amazing feeling today,” said Hamilton. “I have a huge admiration for this team. Driving the car through that race, it just felt so good and this is what I’ve always dreamed of having.

“Even though you’re in the front, it’s still a hard race to stay in the zone and not make mistakes. We were only doing a one-stop, so you’re trying not to lock up and damage the tyres. I felt like it was a big challenge today.”

Hamilton admitted he was disappointed not to have been able to fight team-mate Nico Rosberg for the victory. Rosberg’s early retirement due to a throttle issue prevented the two Mercedes drivers fighting for the win.

“It’s a shame I didn’t get to race with Nico, which I was really excited about,” said Hamilton. “I’m glad my car made it as the rear wing was getting a bit loose towards the end, so I had to stay off the kerbs and try not to damage the car.

“I’ve got to enjoy what’s going on now and cherish the moment; there are still lots of points available this year.”

Hamilton was delighted his victory enabled Mercedes to clinch their second consecutive World Constructors Championship crown, and feels proud to be part of the team.

“To get the Constructors’ Championship feels very special and a great feeling to be a part of this and to have contributed to the team’s success,” added Hamilton. “It’s really an amazing feeling and I’m very proud of them up there on the podium, to see all their smiling faces.

“I feel like a small part in the chain of many people; I’m proud of that part and I look forward to seeing the whole team tomorrow at the factory. I knew the guys were going to do a good job this year but they’ve done an even better job this year than last, which is phenomenal.”

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