Lewis Hamilton thrilled with his 'amazing' victory in the United States Grand Prix
McLaren driver "proud" of team after ending wait for 21st win
Last Updated: 19/11/12 11:32am
Hamilton felt the race at the Circuit of The Americas was one of the best of the season, and judged by the amount of overtaking on display, it would be hard to argue with the eventual winner.
He passed Sebastian Vettel on lap 42 and was able to hold a fairly constant gap of around a second-and-a-half before crossing the line to end a frustrating run of McLaren breakdowns.
"I'm so happy, the fans have been amazing," said Hamilton, whose last win had come at Monza in September.
"It's been one of the best, if not the best, Grands Prix we've had all year. For me and my team this is so special. It's been a long time since I've had a win and I'm so proud of what they have done.
"Overtaking Vettel wasn't easy...it was actually quite tricky. When I finally got close to him, I seemed to be catching him in the first sector and that was difficult.
"And then the backmarkers came into play, finally. How many times has it happened to me when I got caught out? (by backmarkers). But this time, it worked out and I knew that was going to be the lap.
"I turned the engine up to maximise the revs and went for the inside, but he defended. So, I went to the outside and he closed the door a bit so I was very lucky."
Even before his arrival in Austin Hamilton had made clear his desire to be the inaugural winner of the new event. On Thursday he then told Sky Sports F1's Craig Slater how he wanted to win it after a battle with the title contenders.
Having achieved both of those aims on Sunday, Hamilton reflected: "I've been saying from the beginning of the weekend how much I wanted to win it as I won the last U.S. Grand Prix, and I've been saying how I wanted a wheel-to-wheel race with Sebastian because he's the guy that's leading all these races and he's got no one really fighting him.
"So to do that today, be on his tail the whole day, and get the better of him, was a great feeling."
Asked to talk through his race-winning pass on Vettel, Hamilton suggested that the Red Bull's movements down the backstraight hadn't been completely been legal, but remained complementary about his rival's overall performance.
"He moved to the left, and then he moved back again, which was real dangerous if I'm honest," he claimed.
"Still, I got past. He drove great apart from that slight moment, he drove fantastically well and I just had a great race. What a phenomenal feeling to be the first winner of the new race here."
The win was Hamilton's fifth in seven attempts in North America and the 2008 World Champion, who said earlier this week that he would one day like to live in the USA, when asked why he seemed to have a special affiliation with the country, replied: "As I've been saying, it's the lifestyle, it's the people. It's the way they live. They're so positive.
"What a great city - this has almost been a bit like Montreal where we have the real vibrant city."