Lewis Hamilton has said that sheer determination and will power played a major role in securing the first F1 victory at Austin's impressive Circuit of the Americas.
The Briton started from the front row of the grid in Texas but, with the track surface favouring those with odd-numbered slots, he lost a place to Mark Webber into turn one. Although he subsequently re-passed the Australian in the space of three laps, Hamilton then faced the prospect of chasing down poleman Sebastian Vettel, but stuck to his task and eventually grabbed the lead with 14 laps to run.
“When Seb was delayed by a backmarker, I knew I had to grab my chance, so I turned the engine up to maximum revs and pushed like crazy,” he revealed later, “Along the back straight, I went to the to the [left], but Seb closed the door, so I moved to the [other] side, and he came back towards me. I was very lucky. It was very close but what made the difference today between Seb and me was that I wanted it more!”
Hamilton's victory, his fourth of the year, went a long way to making up for the missed opportunities in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, when his McLaren let him down while leading. This time, he clearly had the pace to compete in the race, but was made to wait as he battled his way to the front.
“To overtake both Red Bulls in the race was the coolest thing for me,” he grinned, “To be able to beat Red Bull and Sebastian is definitely a tough challenge, but we managed to do it today.
“[The Red Bull] was pretty strong everywhere. [In] the first sector, [it] is very difficult to follow through [turns] four, five, six, seven, [because it's] such high speed through there. The place where he really extended his gap was the exit of [turn] nine. That was really where he made over a second gap, so I was struggling to really remain close.
“We weren't so bad in the first stint, but it was very difficult to follow and to get past. In trying to do, so I locked up [as] my tyres went off. We pitted maybe two laps before Sebastian, so then he came out quite far ahead, but traffic really worked out quite well for once. I knew that lap would be the lap that I would have a chance…”
Having won the last grand prix to have been staged in the USA, at Indianapolis in 2007, Hamilton was delighted to have picked up from where he left off.
“What a great feeling to win the first grand prix back here in the States,” he enthused, “I won the last one here as well, so I'm massively proud to come back and win it again – and in front of such a great crowd. It feels very special indeed.