'I don’t remember another weekend like this' says Hamilton after sensational last-to-first comeback in Brazil
Lewis Hamilton has pulled off a number of stunning victories in the past but said he couldn’t recall a win quite like this - after being disqualified from Saturday’s qualifying and starting that event dead last, he clawed his way up the order and then triumphed in Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver started the Sao Paulo Sprint from last on the grid after a technical issue was found with his rear wing, but he scythed his way through the field to P5 in that 24-lap dash. But he had a five-place grid penalty awaiting him on Sunday, so, starting 10th, he again worked his way up the field and pulled off a pass on rival Max Verstappen to take victory in Brazil. It was a comeback that reminded him of his early single-seater days…
“I don’t remember another weekend like this,” he said after the race. “The last time I remember having something like this was in Formula 3 in Bahrain, the first race we had in Bahrain, and McLaren cancelled or ripped up my contract and I remember I was racing for my life that weekend.
“Did I think we could come from last? I don’t know what was possible but I just gave it everything and this has definitely been probably one of the best weekends, if not the best weekend I have experienced in probably my whole career,” he added.
Of course, it was hard work when Hamilton tried to pry the lead off Verstappen, who put up a strong defence from the lead with the Mercedes – fresh engine under its bodywork – bearing down. On Lap 48, Hamilton attempted to pass his rival around the outside of Turn 4 but ended up going wide along with the Red Bull (see the video below). There was no investigation, but Hamilton made the pass stick 10 laps later on the run up to the same corner (the clip above).
Regarding that Lap 48 incident, he said: “In the heat of the moment, I don’t really know. I think I was ahead initially, and then I think he held his ground and then we both ran out of road. Well, I think he was running out of road, so then I obviously had to avoid running out of road.
“I didn’t think too much of it – obviously I have to watch the reply – but I mean, it’s hard battling and I wouldn’t expect anything else, really. We didn’t touch wheels, which was good.”
Now the Briton has a 14-point deficit to claw back in the final three races of the year. He said this, his first win since the Russian GP, was a much-needed result for himself and Mercedes.
“Coming here 19 points behind, only one point ahead in the teams’ championship, we really needed a solid, solid result, but then obviously we had all these penalties.
“Mentally you can just think it’s over, it’s impossible, but then nothing is if you put your mind to it. That’s really why we just cultivated a positive mental attitude and went in fighting, guns blazing,” said Hamilton.