Lewis Hamilton turned his frustration after Saturday’s qualifying session at Silverstone into elation today as he delighted the home crowd with his first win since Spain in May.
What might have been a sensational battle to the flag with Nico Rosberg ended when the German retired, but nevertheless it was a deserved victory for the Briton, who did everything right. He is now only four points behind his team mate.
“Yesterday was a really difficult day,” Hamilton admitted. “Obviously you never think situations like that would come up the way they did and I went away feeling terrible for the fans. They all turned up and there’s so much support here, I felt that I had let them down, not only them but the team and myself. Coming back today, trying to turn that serious emptiness and negativity into a positive today was really my priority.
“The support has been incredible this weekend. Just thinking of the history of this circuit, the great drivers that have won in the past, leading last year and not being able to see it through. It’s been since 2008 I had the win and I just feel very, very grateful for the opportunity. I honestly feel that I had the pace today.
“I was catching Nico in the first stint. I was able to extend my first stint longer than ever before. I was feeling pretty comfortable. Of course, you never want a team-mate to fall away, to win like that. I was looking forward to a wheel-to-wheel battle but I’m sure we’ll get many in the future.”
Hamilton conceded that his qualifying session was something of a wake-up call.
“We’ve had four wins, now five wins, but I’ve had the four wins and I think my hunger is on a par with any other year that I’ve ever raced in – but yesterday was a real kick in the balls. I really had to pick up, pull up my socks and get on it if I want to win this world championship, and I can’t have situations like yesterday. The last two races I’ve easily had the pace to be pole position and I’ve not put it there. I’ve put it much further back, made it much harder for myself but now I’m going to try to rectify that for the future.
“We’ll draw a line under that last nine races and now it’s attack mode, start again and now, utilising that pace and utilising the car’s pace. There are still some things we need to improve on. I wasn’t too worried about the time lost in the pit stop today as I knew the next one would be better. I’d been working on my position so I didn’t lose time in that but qualifying really – just getting myself back to my normal qualifying mode and that, I think, will be good.”