3 November 2014
F1 United States Grand Prix: Hamilton never doubted USGP victory
Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he was confident that he could win the United States Grand Prix, despite starting second on the F1 grid in Texas.
Lewis Hamilton has said that there was never a moment where he doubted he could win the United States Grand Prix.
The Briton started second to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, admitting that the German had had the better pace in qualifying, and bided his time before pouncing on the #6 machine to claim the lead at turn twelve. From there on, it was a question of controlling his pace and minding tyre wear as he cruised to a two-second victory.
“I was really doing my homework, trying to understand the opportunities, the different scenarios and how to approach it, and I just really had the belief that I could win it,” Hamilton said, “The race was just like 2012, as I was catching [Rosberg] at the same points as I was catching Sebastian [Vettel] There was never a point in the race where I didn't feel like I could get him. Once I was past him, I just tried to manage the tyres and it's such an incredible feeling to have a race like that.”
Thanking the fans who came out in their droves to support him, Hamilton admitted that the passing move that gave him the lead – and ultimately a record 32nd career victory to break a tie with Nigel Mansell – had been touch-and-go as he launched his car from some way back at the end of the return straight.
“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,” he explained.
“I was quite a bit back, I would say, but I felt very confident, there was a big headwind into twelve, 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 almost caught him unaware.”
The win was Hamilton's fifth in as many races, and took his season's tally to ten, compared to the four of his team-mate. Rosberg's second place ensures that the title fight will go all the way to the double points finale in Abu Dhabi, but Hamilton now has the luxury of knowing that finishing second to the German in the two remaining races will be enough to take the crown.
“It's been an incredible run, but the whole season has been incredible really” he conceded, “Nico was very quick in qualifying, but you never know how the race is going to go and I pushed as hard as I could. I seemed to be quicker in the second stint and, once I was past Nico, it was really about controlling the race. Today, I had the determination and hunger to get that win and I'm really proud that I could do that.
“I think, during the year, you have to be balanced in the risks you take and I think that, so far, I've not been taking too many risks. I've done what I've needed to do to get by in the safest way, in the cleanest way, which has worked all year, so I should just continue to do the same. Even in this race, I was looking after the car, trying to nurse it home and make sure that it had no problems, and I think really you've just got to keep going until the last chequered flag.”
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