Lewis Hamilton has faced a few frustrating races in 2013, but in Austin the Mercedes driver was delighted with his drive to fourth place.
He’s had better results this year, but the key was that he felt able to push hard through the afternoon in the wake of a particularly frustrating race in Abu Dhabi.
“It felt great, I’m so happy that I was able to have a race where I was going forward, and I was able to stand my ground and look after my position,” he said. “It was finally great to just have a real race.
“At this point of the year I’m the fittest I’ve been through the last seven years. The last seven years have been so draining, all the stuff that I had going on. This year I feel the best, and unfortunately although I feel the best I wasn’t able to give the results. We’ve had some problems in the last races, and to come here and get a decent result and stay ahead of Ferrari, I really am so proud of the team. And I’m proud of myself today.”
Hamilton was relieved when the team found a crack in his chassis after Abu Dhabi, and replaced it with the spare. It’s impossible for the team to quantify any gains that may have resulted, but there was definitely a psychological boost.
“Naturally when you have bad races like the last one… I personally really don’t like to blame anything else on the car, especially if you can’t see anything, or you can’t feel it so much. Naturally for me I was doing a lot of soul searching over the last couple of weeks, do I need to train more, do I need to pay more attention to something, do I need to work harder?
“We came here and was just going to try and work even harder if I could, and then we found that big crack, and the car has been night and day different this weekend. I’m pretty happy with that.”