• British driver celebrates timely win for himself and McLaren•
‘I can feel the whole team and the whole factory jumping’.
There was jubilation for Lewis Hamilton in the wake of his victory at the German Grand Prix, the first time the British driver has scored points or a podium finish at the historic circuit in the Eifel mountains.
Speaking from his cockpit after crossing the line Hamilton said: “Great job, that was amazing, oh wow!” and immediately went on to acknowledge his team, who have been under pressure all weekend. “Thank you so much for pushing so hard. The car was so nice to drive – thanks to you guys,” he said.
The excitement had still not worn off after the race. “I am buzzing. I can’t express the feeling inside when I win. I cannot imagine anything I could feel like this. It is a mixture of lots of things – not expecting to win, the ups and downs, the things said against you and then the win and that is a victory for the whole team and I feel the energy from them.”
Hamilton had expressed disquiet that his car was not closer to challenging the Red Bulls and had suggested a good performance in qualifying was beyond their capabilities. Having put the car on the front row on Saturday and taken the chequered flag on Sunday he was keen to reinforce the positive emotions and mitigate some of his previous comments. “I can feel the whole team jumping and I can feel the whole factory jumping,” he said.
“My dad always told me when I was growing up to do my talking on the track and it is very difficult to stick with that because sometimes you want to let off steam off the track, which I have. But today I did all my talking on the track.”
All of which, understandably, had pleased the McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, as well. “What can I say? Lewis was perfect in qualifying and perfect in the race, and the result was perfect too,” he said.
There was, possibly, an element of relief in the reaction to Hamilton’s performance for Whitmarsh and the whole team. The pressure on them to deliver success is intense but Whitmarsh seemed genuinely taken with Hamilton’s drive.
“I reckon his 16th grand prix victory was one of his very best. A scintillatingly authoritative performance that all too clearly underlines what a fearsomely competitive individual he is.”
There was also the question of just where McLaren had found the extra pace. “I think we never expected to come here this weekend and be so fast,” said Hamilton.
“It was amazing to put in a performance like that. Through the race, my consistency was amazing. It felt amazing to hit the same sweet spot and hit the apex everywhere the same time every lap. To be able to do that feels phenomenal.”
Jenson Button had struggled from a slow start and had to retire. It is too early to tell whether McLaren can move this form onwards but after his debut win at the Nürburgring, Hamilton believes he has found a new benchmark.
“In this race I was always striving for perfection,” he said. “In some race wins before they weren’t perfect – maybe I didn’t have the best pit-stop or did something. That frustrates me. It kills me but I still won. This race was as perfect as I have ever had.”