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Hamilton: This victory is for my dad

30 May 2010

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took his first win of the F1 2010 season today in Turkey and then dedicated it to his dad.

Hamilton, who started second, lost out to Sebastian Vettel following his pit stop on lap 15, but he later inherited the lead when Vettel and Mark Webber clashed while running 1-2.

Although Hamilton himself had a good scrap with his own team-mate, Jenson Button late on, and actually lost the lead coming through turns 12-14, he fought back straight away and re-took P1 at the end of the start-finish straight.

He eventually came through 2.6 seconds ahead and unsurprisingly was very happy to take his first maximum haul of the year.

“It was quite an eventful race. I didn't get a great start, it looked like I had a better traction than Mark [Webber], but the car just didn't seem to be going anywhere,” Hamilton recalled. “Fortunately, I was able to attack Sebastian [Vettel] into Turn Three – I got past him, which was a relief, then I was challenging Mark for a long time, before I lost some time to him at the pitstop, when my right rear took longer than normal to go on.

“So then I had to battle two Red Bulls rather than just one; it was hard enough trying to overtake one of them, so trying to overtaking two was really tough. But the good thing is that I had the race pace to keep up with them, even though I was having to keep an eye on my fuel consumption from early on. But anyway, unfortunately for them, they collided – and that enabled us to get past.

“After that, I felt confident we could get a potential one-two, and we were trying to look after the tyres and save the fuel to the finish. The [laptime] target they gave me was perhaps a little bit slower than they'd meant, so Jenson was suddenly on my tail. I had a great battle with him, and was happy to get past because it was quite a surprise.

“We're allowed to race out there, but we have to be sensible. At the end of the day we're a team: we both want to win the constructors' title and we both want to win the drivers' title. But we're not stupid. I wouldn't do anything dangerous to touch Jenson – and vice versa – and that's the great thing about racing each other. We know we have that cushion and that respect for each other, so we don't really have a problem with it.

“Having said all that, winning today doesn't feel quite as good as it sometimes does. That's because it's a little bit different from some of my previous race victories: ideally, the racer in me wants to win by overtaking the guys in front, not by seeing them crash out in front of me. Rather than inheriting a win, it's much nicer to fight your way past your rivals and earn the win the hard way.

“Still, I'm very happy for the team. My girlfriend is here too, which is nice, and my dad is on holiday and I really wanted to win today so that I could dedicate the win to him. It's his 50th birthday tomorrow, you see, and a grand prix victory is the best birthday present I could ever give him.”


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