‘We knew we were on the backfoot’: Lewis Hamilton admits he felt Turkish Grand Prix was ‘falling through my fingers’ before securing stunning victory to earn record-equaling seventh world championship
- READ: Lewis Hamilton claimed seventh title with Turkish Grand Prix victory
- The Brit was emotional after fighting his way through the pack at Istanbul Park
- Hamilton has equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles
- The 35-year-old admitted that Ferrari great Schumacher was one of his idols
- The Mercedes star also insisted that he still has plenty left to give to Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton admitted that he thought the Turkish Grand Prix was ‘falling through his fingers’ before his heroic comeback to claim his seventh Formula One World Championship.
Hamilton drove a near perfect second half of the race as he braved just one pit stop in slippy, wet conditions in Turkey whilst his team-mate Valtteri Bottas struggled further down the pack.
‘I’m a bit lost for words,’ an emotional Hamilton explained after his 94th Grand Prix victory.
Lewis Hamilton admitted he thought the Turkish Grand Prix was ‘falling through his fingers’
Hamilton drove a near perfect race as he braved just one pit stop in slippy conditions in Turkey
‘I think naturally I have to start with saying a huge thank you to all the guys that are here and the guys that are back at our factories.
‘The journey we have been on has been monumental. I want to say a big thank you to team LH for sticking with me all my years and my family.
‘I dreamed of this when I was young. It’s important for kids to dream the impossible and speak it into existence. You’ve got to never give up and never doubt yourself.
‘We knew it was already such a difficult weekend. We knew we were on the backfoot and we did the best we could. We learnt a lot. There’s no blame game. We continue to try and improve our communication so we can make moves forward.
An emotional Hamilton was pictured after he fought his way through the pack in second half
The race at Istanbul Park was not all smooth sailing for Hamilton, however, who spent the first half of the race battling it out in the lower points paying places.
The Brit said he was confident that the car would adjust to the intermediate tyres after struggling on full wets early on.
‘We had that small moment at the beginning of the race with the new tyres. I was thinking this race is falling through my fingers but I kept believing I would pick up pace at some stage,’ he added.
‘There was a point that Seb was pulling away from me. I was checking my temperatures, they got to a drier patch.
The Brit said he was confident that the car would adjust to intermediate tyres after struggling
‘The grip started coming back and I was improving my driving lines. Seb pitted and I knew that wasn’t the right choice personally and the tyres got slicker.’
Hamilton also referenced his heartbreak at the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix when he came so close to his first ever world title.
Driving for McLaren at the time, Hamilton was on his way to glory but he came off while entering the pit lane that ultimately cost him places in the race and his chances of clinching his first ever championship.
‘Remember I lost the World Championship in the pit lane. I learnt my lesson from 2007, that’s for sure.’
The 35-year-old admitted that Ferrari great Schumacher was one of his idols when he was growing up and also added that despite enjoying 14 seasons in F1, he is not done yet.
The 35-year-old admitted that Ferrari great Schumacher was one of his idols growing up
The Mercedes star also insisted that he still has plenty left to give to Formula One
‘I know I often say it’s beyond my wildest dream but my whole life I think I have dreamt as high of this. I remember watching Michael winning those championships.
‘Just to get one or two or three is so hard. Seven is unimaginable. There is no end to what we can do together, me and this team. What a day. A lot to take in.
‘I feel like I’m only just getting started. I feel physically in great shape. Mentally this year has been really hard for millions of people, it’s no different for us athletes.
‘This has been a challenge that I didn’t know how to get through, but with the help of Team LH I managed to get through. I would love to stay. We realise we’ve got to face and not ignore the human right issues that we go to.
‘I want to help F1 and Mercedes in that journey, and moving more sustainable as a sport, I want to see if I can be part of that for a little bit longer.’