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Hamilton hails 'tremendous' win after surviving post-race investigation

Written by  Jul 23, 2018

Lewis Hamilton considered his victory at the German Grand Prix as one of the best after coming through from 14th on the grid and benefitting from a crash for championship rival Sebastian Vettel.

24 hours prior, the Mercedes driver appeared distraught as he crouched over the side of his car as a hydraulics problem saw him knocked out at the end of Q1, but after quickly making his way through the field in the opening 12 laps, a change in the weather would present the opportunity to capitalise.

Switching to new Ultrasoft tyres just before the rain began, that proved the right decision as the track was never fully wet enough for intermediates and the fresh grip allowed him to close in rapidly on the leaders.

It was Vettel's slide into the barriers at the Sachskurve that would put Hamilton in the lead, as Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen pitted ahead and from there, Mercedes introduced team orders telling their drivers to come home in formation.

“The mistake from Sebastian today has been a benefit to us at Mercedes,” Lewis admitted post-race.

“It is great to be here at Mercedes' home ground, our second home, and to get the 1-2 particularly after they just re-signed us and confirmed their confidence in us.

“It is just a tremendous day for us."

His 66th career win and 44th as car No. 44 was also Hamilton's first from starting outside the top six on the grid yet the 33-year-old admitted he never lost hope after qualifying.

“It’s obviously very, very difficult from that position and highly unlikely but you’ve always got to believe," he continued.

“I just wanted to stay calm and collected. I’m so grateful, I kept pushing and kept believing and it happened.

“After racing for so many years you never know when you are going to have another good race, to have a better race than your best, and this is now up there.”

There were a few nervy moments after the race, however, as he was called to the stewards for crossing the pit-lane entry line amid a moment of frantic confusion over the radio as to whether he was to pit under the Safety Car.

After the investigation, only a reprimand was given as the FIA cited that radio confusion and the safe manner with which Hamilton returned to the track.

“It’s been emotional, the most emotional day, up and down,” he added later. “No one ever wants to go and see the stewards. They have the hardest job, because every scenario is always different.

“They ask you to explain what happened, and I was 100% open with them. I’m very rarely there. There have been many times in the past, I was there a lot, but I hardly ever see them now."

Offering a brief explanation to the media, Lewis said: “I honestly thought that I was going to stay out, I was happy with my tyres, and then they said: ‘Come in,’ and I saw Valtteri ahead coming in, so I was like ‘are they sure about it?’

“By the time I got in it was ‘no, stay out’. It was literally go left, go right? I just slowed down and trundled over some grass and made sure I joined the track as safe as I could.”

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