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Hamilton relives Canada victory

2008-06-06 09:47
Lewis Hamilton

Alan Baldwin

Montreal - A year on from his first F1 victory in Canada, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was still marvelling at what he had achieved on Thursday.

"It was a spectacular win and obviously I was thrilled about it, to have my first Grand Prix win in my first Grand Prix season and after such consistent races beforehand," the championship leader told reporters at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"Even now when I look back on last year, I wonder how I did it all as it is so hard to be consistent."

Hamilton, with double world champion Fernando Alonso as his team mate at McLaren last year, won from pole position in Canada and went on to repeat the feat a week later in the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

At the end of an astonishing rookie season, the then 22-year-old Briton had finished runner-up by a single point to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton has won two of this year's six races so far, including last month's showcase Monaco Grand Prix, and arrives in Canada with a three point lead over Raikkonen.

He had no illusions about repeating his debut win on Sunday, saying he felt optimistic that McLaren could do well even if Ferrari would be the team to beat.

However he also made clear how much that first victory had transformed his life.

"Beforehand you know you can do it, but believing you can do it then actually doing it and making it happen is a different thing," he said.

"It (the win) showed people I was here to do business and proved to myself that it was possible. It opened that doorway and I was able to win from then on.

"I was confident already and I was building my confidence with every race."

Hamilton said the success had also changed his rivals' attitude, with Alonso departing for Renault at the end of an acrimonious season.

"They started to realise that I was a real threat. I had already had a couple of good races. With the win they thought, shoot, he is for real and maybe he is a real competitor," said the Briton.


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