My hardest weekend ever, admits Hamilton


Understandably, Lewis Hamilton cites the Brazil Grand Prix weekend as his toughest ever.

Heading into Sao Paulo, the Briton trailed title rival Max Verstappen by 19 points, with the Interlagos track, like Mexico, said to favour the Red Bull-Honda.

The early decision to issue the Briton with a new internal combustion engine meant he was already facing a 5-place grid penalty on Sunday. But then came the little matter of disqualification from qualifying following an investigation into the DRS system on his rear wing.

This meant he started the Sprint, which would decide the grid order for Sunday's Grand Prix, from the back.

However, a blistering performance - and a car capable of "mind-boggling" pace, according to Christian Horner - saw the Mercedes driver finish fifth, which meant he lined up for the Grand Prix in tenth.

Another stupendous performance saw the seven-time world champion up to second by Lap 19, while on Lap 59 he overtook Verstappen for a lead he was never to relinquish.

Prior to the move, which saw him push the Dutchman to the very limit into Turn 1 and through the Esses, Hamilton had almost taken the lead in a move which saw the Red Bull driver force him wide at the circuit's infamous Turn 4.

Even after the chequered flag had been taken and the 'champagne' sprayed, the stewards had a surprise up their sleeves, fining the Briton for undoing his seatbelts on his in-lap as he grabbed a Brazil flag to wave in celebration.

"Coming into this weekend, I never ever thought that we would be able to close the gap like we have today," said Hamilton at race end.

"These things, they just kept going against us," he continued.

"It really shows, for everyone, just never give up whatever you're facing," he added. "You have got to keep pushing, keep tumbling away, keep fighting, and never, never stop fighting.

"That's really how I approached this week," he said, "that and inspiration from all around.

"I don't feel like I have had a win for a long time," he grinned. "It feels like the first!"

"I was pushing, pushing as hard as I could, but from last on the grid and then another five place penalty was I think the hardest weekend I've had. But my dad reminded me of 2004, when I was in Formula 3 in Bahrain. I started last and I finished tenth, then I finished first. So this one is for my dad."

Asked about the incident at Turn 4 and the stewards decision that it was a racing incident, he subsequently told Sky Sports: "When they said they were going to investigate, I just knew the decision they were going to come to, whether it was right or wrong. I didn't let it faze me, I just kept racing."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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Published: 15/11/2021
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