Emotional Hamilton savours victory

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Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Lewis Hamilton fought back tears after he triumphed on home soil and took a step closer to becoming the first Briton to successfully defend his Formula One World Championship crown.

The 30-year-old overcame a poor start and a rain-interrupted race to seal back-to-back victories at Silverstone and move 17 points clear of his Mercedes team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton spoke of the perfect weekend in the build-up to Sunday’s British Grand Prix, and while he started from pole position his start was anything but.

Hamilton and Rosberg were gobbled up by the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas on the run down to turn one.

While Hamilton retook Bottas at turn four, he was soon back behind the Finn after he unsuccessfully attempted to pass Massa for the lead.

Hamilton then failed to make an impression on either of the Williams drivers, but by pitting first he emerged after the first round of stops in the lead to the delight of the record 140,000 partisan crowd.

And when the rain fell later in the race, Hamilton pulled off what he described as the “best call I’ve ever made” to stop for wet tyres with nine laps remaining. Rosberg took the lead, but was left with no choice other than to stop on the following lap.

“I have to admit, as I came round that last lap I was welling up seeing all those people on their feet,” said Hamilton, who has now won three times on home soil.

On the previous occasions he has triumphed here, in 2008 and last year, he has been crowned the world champion.

“It was just a very, very special weekend for me,” Hamilton added. “To see so many fans out this weekend, I love those guys.

“The race was very, very tough. It was very slippery off the start, I think for both of us but it made it more exciting. I was chasing down the Williams.

“I got close enough on the first pit-stop and came out ahead after a really good out-lap. And then the rain came. It’s always trickier for the guy who’s out in the lead because you’re the first one to get to it and it’s questionable how much risk you take. But yeah, for the first time actually, I think the first time in my whole Formula One career, I made the perfectly right choice.”

For his part, Rosberg, who relished the inclement conditions, felt Hamilton had made the wrong decision at the time.

Rosberg had made light work of Bottas and then Massa when a second rain shower hit. He was 8.5 seconds behind Hamilton by the time he had navigated past the Brazilian. Two laps later, when Hamilton came into the pits, the gap was a little under two seconds.

“As it started to drizzle I was happy because it would give me a great opportunity and I felt good in the car,” Rosberg, who had won three of the last four races heading into the British Grand Prix, said.

“I could really push past both Williams and hunt down Lewis. I saw I was a lot quicker at the time so I believed that I was going to get him.

“Then the rain came down a bit more and he made the right call, and pitted on just the right lap even though I thought it was the wrong call at that point in time. But it rained more and that was it. There was no chance after that.”

Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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