Hamilton all pumped up over the thrill of the chase

Hamilton all pumped up over the thrill of the chase
Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain.

The late Canadian Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve once said that his idea of a truly great race was one where he would have some sort of problem on the opening lap, fall to last place, have to make a pit stop, and then drive back through the field to win in the closing stages.

Lewis Hamilton, whose driving style resembles the legendary Ferrari driver of the 1970s and 1980s, didn't quite have to do that in Monza on Sunday on his way to his sixth win of a difficult season.

But he admitted the experience was enhanced by the need to fight back from a troubled start after slipping from pole.

"Definitely the problems I had getting off the start line made it better," he said. "A race like that is so much more satisfying than just winning from the front.

"That's a great experience in itself, but when I lost those places at the start, I was feeling: 'Damn, Nico's getting away now.'

"But, fortunately, I was able to get past Kevin Magnussen and Felipe Massa and even though I used my tyres quite a bit doing that, I still had good pace."

During his pursuit, he went with his racer's instincts rather than his engineer's advice to save his tyres for a late attack. Those instincts paid off handsomely.

"Not all solutions are logical. In some races, saving the tyres to the end is the way and sometimes it's not," he said.

"I just knew how it was going to play out. I had no more pit stops left, I knew how the car was feeling and I knew if I backed off then to save the tyres and then spent that tyre life later trying to catch up, I wasn't going to do it. I just knew I had to attack quickly."

Hamilton said while he already had confidence before this overdue success - his last win was at home in the British Grand Prix in July - it had solidified that assurance.

"It's not every race you have the car working like that but we did a really good job.

"In general, the result today was very encouraging." he added.

"It's not easy when anyone is under pressure, especially when it's me pressuring someone, or when I've had Fernando (Alonso) or Sebastian (Vettel) pressuring me. That's just the way it goes.

"But it was a general positive today, and a step forward and a step up through the massive staircase I have to face.

"I'm sure Nico was gutted. But you can be relaxed when you've got a points cushion like he has, don't forget."

Hamilton cut Mercedes team-mate Rosberg's lead in the race to the title from 29 to 22 points but admitted he still cannot be sure what the future holds.

"Time will tell. I came here with the same possibilities as in previous races but, maybe this weekend, I just added more energy and pushed through," he said.

"Now, I just want to get my head down and I see no reason why I shouldn't be as fast again in the remaining races."

stsports@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on September 09, 2014.
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