With the home victory at Silverstone making it four wins from five races, Lewis Hamilton believes he has the impetus he needs to continue his recovery from a difficult start to the season as he attempts to secure his fourth world title.
Yesterday’s win from pole at the British Grand Prix has narrowed the gap to his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to just one point from the 43 he trailed by after Monaco, and the momentum is now firmly behind the British driver.
Having secured the world championship in Austin, Texas, in 2015, Hamilton went eight races without a win, a run which included two identical technical failures in qualifying in China and Russia, some poor race starts and an accident in Barcelona with Rosberg that knocked both drivers out. However, an emphatic victory here confirmed that he had put the season’s difficult opening behind him.
“This weekend felt pretty awesome,” he said. “Last year I was driving exceptionally well, but was more chilled at the end. The last race in Austria and this race has the fires fully lit, I’m firing on all cylinders and I want that to continue.
“That rough patch I was going through, it’s hard to handle when you want to win the world championship as much as I do. After that low at Barcelona I was able to get a strong and positive mental attitude and that’s why I’ve won four races since thenand I plan to continue.”
As well as showing his appreciation for the British fans at Silverstone, Hamilton was also fulsome in his praise for the circuit. It was, he believed, “bigger balls” that made him quicker than Rosberg through Silverstone’s fast corners.
“That middle sector is the best in the whole season for me,” he said. “That combination of corners is phenomenal, particularly after Copse. Maggots, Becketts, an unbelievable set of corners, when you get the car right and know where to position the car – it’s the greatest and I was able to hit that whenever I needed.”
The Mercedes executive director, Toto Wolff, was relieved to have his cars return a one-two with no internecine struggles in a race where Hamilton clearly had the upper hand. The British driver, as he had at Monaco, enjoyed a clear advantage in the wet opening laps over Rosberg. “Lewis stormed away at the beginning and had the right pace, he walked over the water,” Wolff said. “Today we saw a Lewis that was very confident, extremely focussed and calm. On a day like this Lewis Hamilton is unstoppable.”
With Rosberg having taken a penalty that demoted him from second to third for what was adjudged to have been team instructions, Wolff said regulations on radio communication needed to be looked at. “Those rules currently need clarifying between the FIA and the teams,” he said. “To go more into what is allowed or not, because not communicating at all we might as well throw the radio out of the car. It needs to be discussed.”
Rosberg, who took the booing from a small portion of the crowd with very good grace acknowledging that “they love their British drivers but they appreciate passionate drivers who are out their battling and fighting for the win,” was also attempting to stay positive after the remarkable turn of fortune since Hamilton’s first win of the season at Monaco five races ago. “It has been a very good first half of the season,” he said. “I am leading the world championship, so its been a damn good start and there is still such a long way to go. I’m feeling great, the battle is on with Lewis.”
Hamilton, in turn, was eager to take to the field again. “I’m really happy today,” he said. “It’s really easy to come in with the wrong energy. To come in feeling fresh, powerful, strong and confident is what I plan to have every weekend. This has been the best week of the year, without a doubt.”
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