Lewis Hamilton has rated his dramatic victory at the German Grand Prix as ‘the best I remember driving’ in Formula 1 as he used his karting experience to fight through the pack starting down in 14th place.

After a nightmare in qualifying with a hydraulics failure forcing him out right at the end of Q1, meaning he missed Q2, Hamilton had his F1 world title hopes hanging in the balance down in 14th with championship leader Sebastian Vettel starting from pole position at Hockenheim.

German GP - Driver Ratings

With a big fightback on his hands, Hamilton made quick work through the midfield to rejoin the front-running group of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull and maximised his opportunity when the rain arrived which saw Vettel crash out from the lead.

Aside from a Mercedes strategy mix up behind the safety car, which landed Hamilton a reprimand for cutting over the pit entry, the British driver produced the perfect race to take victory.

Hamilton set a new personal record of winning from his furthest grid position in 14th, his previous best was sixth on the grid at the 2014 British Grand Prix, while he rates the triumph alongside his famous win in the wet at Silverstone in 2008.

“Today I feel like I drove the best I remember driving,” Hamilton said. “I’ve had a lot of races and there’s been some great ones. Silverstone 2008 was pretty great but I went off so that was 99.8% but this one I didn’t make any mistake at all. One to be proud of.”

The reigning F1 world champion says he leant on his old karting experiences using slower karts compared to his rivals and having to fight through the pack having qualified down the order.

“It’s very similar to how I started out. The first kart that I had was really, really old and had been owned by like five different families,” he explained. “My dad spent a bit of money to improve it, re-spray it and make it as brand new as it could be.

“I’d always start at the back and I had to wriggle my way through and having that experience with faster karts, that’s where I learnt to do it. It was about going up against adversity. 

“Saturday was a difficult day, when I was sat by the guys, I was heartbroken. But when I stood up I was like there’s nothing you can do about what’s just happened.

“You can only do the best job you possibly can. Every time there is a day like this there’s always a chance to show what you can do.”

Having trailed Vettel by eight points in the F1 world drivers' standings before the start of the German GP, Hamilton now leads by 17 points.