Monday, November 3, 2008

Lewis's finally done it !

Lewis Hamilton admits: ‘I just don’t know how I kept my cool’

“I thought my heart was going to explode.” So said Lewis Hamilton of the moment when he thought that the World Championship was slipping from his grasp for the second year running.
In the McLaren garage, the team were making furious calculations but the family, led by Lewis, were facing up to another disaster as he embarked on the last lap 13 seconds behind Timo Glock. They were 13 seconds which Hamilton did not believe he could make up.
At the time, he thought that he had to overtake Sebastian Vettel, who had slipped past a couple of laps earlier, but Hamilton could not get close to his Toro Rosso rival.
“I was pushing to get close to Sebastian, who was very quick,” he said. “It just got harder and harder and I heard that I had to get past him and I was pushing but I couldn’t get close enough. I didn’t know where Glock was and Vettel was the guy to beat. I couldn’t catch him, so at that point I was going to finish sixth. My heart was in my mouth.
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“I don’t know how I kept my cool. I don’t know what would have happened if I had lost out on the last lap.” It was so close that Hamilton did not realise he was world champion for several seconds after he crossed the line. “I was shouting ‘do I have it? Do I have it?’ In the Ferrari garage, Felipe Massa’s father briefly thought his son was champion. Formula One veterans had never seen a conclusion like it.
In the McLaren garage, as reality struck, the celebrations were led by Hamilton’s family including father Anthony and brother Nicolas.
Hamilton has often cited Nic as his main inspiration for the way he not only copes with cerebral palsy but lives life to the full.
“I often try to imagine myself in Nic’s position,” Lewis said. “I do not think I would be anywhere near as strong as him. There’s just so much to admire in him. So, whatever I am doing, I say to myself, ‘If you think it is hard to do this then think again’. ” A year after they had to drown their sorrows after losing the title in Brazil, the family and McLaren team went off to party in São Paulo. There was a particularly sweet feeling to securing victory in the hometown of Ayrton Senna, the Formula One legend and Hamilton’s boyhood hero.
“I’m very emotional. I’ve cried. My heart’s feeling so much strain right now, and I think that was the same for everyone.” Hamilton’s victory was vindication for the support of Ron Dennis, the team principal, who first met the young driver when he was a schoolboy.
“It’s a fairytale story that he gave me that opportunity years ago and he had the hindsight to bring me in groom me to get to this position,” Hamilton said. “I’ve paid him back in full so I’m happy with that. I think first and foremost of my family and then I thank God because he was with me all year as he always is.”

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