Hamilton focused on title defence

Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Lewis Hamilton has his sights firmly fixed on becoming the first British driver to successfully defend his Formula One world championship after winning at Silverstone in Sunday’s incident-fuelled race.

Hamilton’s triumph, in the race of the season so far, has given him a 17-point cushion over Nico Rosberg at the halfway point of a campaign which finally burst into life in front of a record crowd of 140,000.

The 30-year-old recovered from a dismal start before pulling off the best strategy call of his career with just nine laps remaining and the rain intensifying.

It marked Hamilton’s third victory at Silverstone, and in each of the previous years he has triumphed at home, in 2008 and again last year, he has gone on to be crowned world champion.

The next step following his latest victory would see him power on to join Sir Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda and his idol Ayrton Senna in the pantheon of all-time grand prix greats by claiming a third world title.

“That is the plan and that is what I am working for,” Hamilton said. “I have won five from nine and have eight poles, so it has been a strong year for me performance wise.

“Last year was exceptional and to think that I am doing it just as much as that, if not a little bit better, I didn’t think I could, so I am really very happy with that.

“I am going to Hungary which has been a great track for me throughout my career. Then it is time for a break but I will train like crazy to make sure I come on strong for the next part of the season.”

Hamilton, who invited his mother Carmen Lockhart into the Mercedes motorhome to conduct his post-race media duties, revealed that he was “100 per cent confident” with his decision to change to the intermediate tyre as the rain threatened to spoil his afternoon.

“In my mind, making the decision, you cant half-a*** it – you either do or you don’t,” Hamilton added.

“The rain was getting worse and worse, I saw some extra droplets and I thought that’s it, I am coming in. It was literally on the last corner that I decided to come in.”

It proved to be an inspired decision as Rosberg, who had taken six seconds out of Hamilton’s lead prior to the Briton’s pitsop, was forced to follow suit by changing to intermediate tyres on the following lap.

From there on, the race was over.

But Hamilton, who threw away a certain victory in Monaco after a baffling decision by Mercedes to pit him in the closing phase of the race, revealed his Silverstone masterstroke was the first correct strategy call he has pulled off in nine seasons of Formula One racing.

“I have never felt that was a strength for me,” Hamilton said. “The driver only has one view of everything.

“The guys outside have a better view so I generally would rely on the team and definitely in the past there were times I got it right and times I got it wrong.

“The only other time I ever done it was here in 2008 when I told them to put extreme tyres on, but they put on intermediates and overrode my decision.

“T he extremes were the best, the quickest at the end of the race, so that is the only other time I have got the decision right apart from today. I am glad I have ticked that one off.

“I trust my judgement and I trust myself in all the decisions that I am making and the things that I am doing outside of the racing world.

“There are opinions for and against those things but you can still see my heart is 100 per cent it.

“I am enjoying everything, my life outside, and it is all paying off.”

Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by The News Editor

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