Lewis Hamilton elated after making British GP history with sixth win
Six wins and counting for Hamilton as he benefits from Safety Car to beat Bottas; Lewis crowd-surfs after the race and praises fans
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 15/07/19 11:17am
Lewis Hamilton says he is "incredibly proud" to have broken the British GP wins record and claims he "harnessed the energy" from his home fans to clinch a Silverstone thriller.
Hamilton made history on Sunday by becoming the first driver to win the iconic British GP six times, with the world champion beating Valtteri Bottas while Ferrari and Red Bull battled and collided.
Although Hamilton benefited from a Safety Car his performance was still impeccable, putting Bottas under immense pressure at the start of the race before comfortably easing away from the field after his first stop to the delight of the Silverstone faithful.
"I will remember this day," Hamilton told Sky F1. "It's so hard to win this grand prix.
"It definitely hasn't sunk in. I still remember my first win here, my first pole here. Every year it's such a challenge. This track is amazing - like poetry in motion."
Hamilton, who broke Jim Clark's 52-year record, added: "Just to be amongst the greats that have shone on this circuit and here in the UK... I'm so incredibly proud to be a part of it."
The home favourite admitted he found it difficult to express his emotions as he came to terms with his achievement, but admitted it was "one of the best days you can ever have".
"I remember my first win here in 2008 and the feeling that I had coming out Brooklands and going down the straight towards the start-finish line at the time and seeing the crowd, it felt so reminiscent of that today," he continued.
"Just the excitement, the happiness and the enjoyment I felt is exactly the same as then. I've done so many races, you would think that you would get used to it, but it felt just as amazing as the first win I ever had. So really grateful to all those people who have helped me achieve that.
"This is the greatest single moment any athlete in the world can have, to raise their flag as the number one, the gold [medal winner], whatever it may be, in their own country."
Hamilton riding the crest of a wave
The Englishman, now 39 points clear in the championship as he strives for a sixth drivers' crown, felt he had to deliver on Sunday after a disappointing qualifying where he was edged to pole by Bottas.
"Second is great, third is great but first is something unique and on its own," said Hamilton. "When you're striving for perfection, and you don't ultimately reach it, you can still be proud of yourself but how I work is that I'm hard on myself.
"I was a little bit frustrated with myself yesterday, and how I do things... I know better. Normal things as humans, we make mistakes. I wanted to come here today and do something powerful."
Hamilton praised the fans, who he celebrated with afterwards by going crowd-surfing.
"I wanted to harness the fans' energy," he explained. "My dad took my around in one of his old cars [in the track parade] and he had never seen what that was like, people beaming their energy at you. He was so happy. I don't think I've ever seen him so happy. I feel like I captivated that energy they had and used it.
"I'm so proud and I'm so grateful for everyone's support."
'I wanted another race with Bottas'
The highlight of the Mercedes drivers' battle for victory was certainly the Lap Four tussle, when Hamilton overtook Bottas around the outside of Luffield before the Finn crept back through before Stowe.
"He was on the inside but when we pulled out of the corner I couldn't really see where he was," said Hamilton.
"He was in my blind spot. He wasn't in my mirror but I couldn't see him next to me either, so I couldn't close the door just in case he was there.
"He drove sensationally well out of there so I was like 'ok, I'm going to back off, wait until he stops and then nail lap after lap'. I was going to do a few more laps I think but the Safety Car came out, and it was perfect timing."
Hamilton added to Sky F1's Jenson Button and Simon Lazenby: "I didn't really know what approach to have but it was really cool. This is awesome, this is what racing's all about.
"I was hoping to have another race."
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