McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was delighted with his Belgian Grand Prix victory today at Spa and said it felt almost as good as his maiden win.
Hamilton dominated the event and led from start-to-finish, despite the difficult conditions and despite two safety car periods. Indeed while he had a big scare near the end, when the rain returned, he held on and following a stop for intermediates swept to his third victory of the F1 2010 season.
The result puts him back in the lead in the drivers' championship, three points up on Red Bull's Mark Webber, who was second: “After the DNF in Hungary, this last push in the championship couldn't have started better for me. This victory was the perfect way to bounce back,” Hamilton reflected.
“Spa is always one of the most challenging races on the calendar, and I'm ecstatic that I'm now able to tick it off and say that I've won here.
“At the start, I was able to pace myself and maintain the gap – every time the cars behind increased their pace, I was able to answer. Then, when the conditions changed, I had a wide moment at Turn Eight – and I was on the edge of my seat!
“Fortunately, I got out of it, took a step back, regained my focus, and took control again. I was so relieved to cross the line at the end of the race – it was an overwhelming feeling!
“It may sound an obvious thing to say, but I'll say it anyway: I love racing. It's in my blood, and I missed it so much during the summer break. So to finally get a win here at Spa – in the trickiest of conditions – is fantastic.
“I couldn't have done it without the team though. Without them putting in such a great effort, we wouldn't be here today. It almost feels like this is my first win – it's just really, really phenomenal!”
McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh added: “There's no doubt about it: today we saw a truly fantastic race and an utterly brilliant victory. Apart from one heart-stopping excursion, Lewis was in command of things from lights to flag, and drove prodigiously well all afternoon – all weekend, in fact.
“From the moment he went out on Friday morning, he was palpably excited about being here at Spa, and it was clear that he always felt confident that a win was on the cards. He really is at the top of his game at the moment. He's back at the head of the drivers' world championship standings too – and, but for Sebastian [who took out Jenson Button in the sister car], we'd be leading the constructors' world championship as well.”