Lewis Hamilton: “Nico wasn’t defending there really…”

Lewis Hamilton took a step closer to securing the 2014 World Championship with his fifth straight victory at Austin, giving himself a 24-point lead over team mate Nico Rosberg.

Thanks to double points the title battle will now go own to the wire in Abu Dhabi as even a victory in Brazil with Rosberg failing to score would leave him only 49 points ahead.

“It’s been an incredible run,” said Hamilton. “This whole season has been incredible really. Just an unbelievable job done by the team. Nico was very quick in qualifying yesterday. Obviously I said I had a couple of problems and I corrected them today and, never know how the race is going to go but I pushed as hard as I could, particularly in the first stint. And the second stint I seemed to be even quicker on that stint. Once I got past Nico it was really just about controlling it. Coming here today, just having that same determination and hunger to get that win. And, as I said, there’s not a better crowd really to do that in front of.”

Hamilton’s move on Rosberg was the key to his win: “It’s obviously a very good circuit to be able to follow but it’s not easy and it was very hard through the middle sector to try to stay as close to him as possible and get as close as I could to the DRS zone. And I was quite a bit back, I would say, but I felt very confident, there was a big headwind into 12, and I just felt like I was waiting for the moment really, to just be just close enough to throw it up the inside. And that’s what I did.

“You have to decide how much of a risk you’re willing to take. Nico wasn’t defending there really so I almost caught him unaware. And after that, really I was just trying to maintain it.”

Lewis said he really enjoyed his week in the USA: “I just went into the race with the belief that I could win it. Incredible support from my fans, even from when I was in New York this week. The support from my fans and the tons of flags out there and team tops and team caps, I really am so grateful for that support that I have here in the US. It’s amazing. I hope it continues to grow over the years. Great weather, the circuit’s just fantastic. I went into the race thinking I need another race just like 2012 and it was just like that.

“I was catching him through exactly the same points at which I was catching Sebastian. There wasn’t a moment in the race when I didn’t think that I would get him. Once I was past, as I said, I was able to relax for a second and really try to manage the tyres, because I knew that perhaps he would push at some other point. And so I was always having to respond. It’s such a great feeling when you have a race like that, it just feels great that you’ve really done it as best as you can.”

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