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Lewis gives fans what they wanted

2014-07-07 08:08


THIS IS FOR MY PEOPLE: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won his home race at the 2014 British GP on Sunday (July 6) in honour of his fans. Image: AFP/ Francois Lenoir

SILVERSTONE, England - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton ran a roller-coaster of emotions to give his home Formula 1 fans the win they wanted at the 2014 British Formula 1 GP on Sunday (July 7).

On Saturday he was "devastated" - his father's description - after an error in qualifying seen by some as a pivotal moment in a season had handed pole position to team mate Nico Rosberg. Then, on Sunday evening, he was celebrating the second home win of his career and a triumph that took his tally to 27 victories - matching that of long-retired triple champion and fellow Briton Jackie Stewart.

Rosberg's first retirement of the season - Hamilton's had two - cut the points gap between them to four with the momentum suddenly swinging the Briton's way. Hamilton said he had spend Saturday evening talking things through with his father and family.


"I went away feeling terrible for the fans," he explained. "I felt I'd let them down... not only them but the team and myself. Coming back today (Sunday), trying to turn that serious emptiness and negativity into a positive was really my priority."

With the Wimbledon Men's final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic under way, Hamilton likened his predicament to a tennis player two sets down and needing to focus and get back into the match.

"It's so hard to get your mind in gear, to get yourself back and not lose points from then on. And so the pressure is high - but I really feel we're back. Saturday was a real kick in the balls. I really had to pick up, pull up my socks and get on it if I wanted to win the championship.

"The previous two races I easily had the pace to be on pole but not put it there. I've put it much further back, made it much harder for myself - now I'm going to try to rectify that."

Hamilton was sixth on the grid but already through to fourth when the race was stopped on the opening lap. He swept into second after the re-start and from that moment it was game on with the 2008 champion on a tyre strategy different to that of Rosberg.


The gearbox problem that struck Rosberg from lap 20 and ultimately forced his retirement robbed the fans of a real battle between the pair but, in a summer short of British sporting success, they could live with that.

"I thought maybe the fans could be the wind in my sails to really change the direction and get the momentum," Hamilton said. "I've got the win today. I've got the points back. The points I've been chasing all year really, since I lost them at the first race.

"When you feel like the world is crumbling beneath you somehow, with your family and friends, they help pull you through... and also the fans."

On the podium, celebrating his fifth win of the 2014, Hamilton was still not entirely happy. After all that effort, the emotional stress, and the elation of stopping a losing cycle, the trophy itself proved a disappointment.


"Where's the gold trophy, man? This thing's falling to pieces, look," he exclaimed at being handed one presented by the race sponsor rather than the historic trophy with all the winners' names engraved on the base.

"The bottom fell off the one we just had. It's plastic, it must cost 10 pounds! It's so bad," he grinned later once he had got his hands on the precious gold one.

Moaning about the quality of the winners' trophy was, as his smile made clear, a problem with which he was more than happy to live.

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