Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton was thrilled to win his first Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, a race victory that had eluded him during his career so far, but one grand prix he wanted to overcome more than most.
“I’ve just won my first Brazilian Grand Prix!
“I remember watching Ayrton win back in 1991 and thinking “one day, that’s what I want to do”. I shared his emotion that day and now I can finally understand how he felt.
“It’s the 44th Grand Prix here as well, so it’s a really special one for me. To win on Senna’s turf in front of that crowd… it’s a moment I’ll never forget and I genuinely can’t believe it’s finally come.”
Despite the treacherous conditions on race day, the Brit deemed it one of the simpler wins he has had to contest.
“It’s crazy – all these years it’s been so hard to win this race and then today was one of the easiest wins I’ve had.”
Hamilton performed the perfect race, leading from the front and never looking like losing the position as he controlled the race out ahead.
The Brit did voice some concerns over team radio during the latter stages of the grand prix as to whether the tread on the full wet tyres would last, but put those thoughts to one side as he concentrated on being the first to see chequered flag.
“Of course, in those conditions I could easily have made a mistake at any point. But I was generally very relaxed out there today and felt completely in control.
“I love driving in the rain. It must come from years of racing around the UK as a kid! It’s all in the mind – keeping your cool, not making mistakes, having great reactions and knowing where to put the car.
“It was one of those races where I was able to focus purely on driving. That one set of tyres just kept going and going, I didn’t have any problems at all and the car was really fantastic.”
Knowing what is at stake for both himself and team-mate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton was extremely praising of the whole Mercedes team for giving him the perfect car this weekend, and re-iterated how honoured he feels to be part of such a fantastic squad.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone back at both factories who have worked so hard to give us such an incredible car. This result is all down to them.
“Every week we’re making another piece of history and we’ve out-and-out proven that we’re the best team by far, in every area.
“Our hospitality is the best, our food is the best, our guys in the garage are the best, the guys back in the factory are the best, our cars are the best… it’s so rare to see every area so spot on and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
The title race will now go down to the season finale in Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time, and although he has a twelve-point deficit to Rosberg, Hamilton is ready to fight with everything he has to try to overturn the German’s upper hand.
No matter what the outcome on that final day, Hamilton has stated that if he feels he has performed to his best ability in these final few races, then he will be happy to accept the result, whatever that may be.
“I’m glad that it’s come down to the last race. All I can do is focus on being as strong as I have been in these past few races. If I can do that, I’ll know in my heart what I’ve achieved this year.”