A ‘super-refreshed’ Lewis Hamilton said he is feeling ‘the strongest and happiest’ he has ever felt in his life after driving to a near-flawless triumph for Mercedes in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The defending two-time world champion, who leads this year’s title race by 28 points following his sixth win this year and the 39th of his career, oozed with easy confidence after what he considered to be one of his best and most enjoyable races.
“To come away from the best holiday I’ve ever had and win was fantastic,” said the 30-year-old Briton. “To translate pole positions into wins is what I want to do. “I felt good when I woke up today. I am the strongest and happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I love my job — it’s the greatest job in the world.
“I just want to enjoy it as much as I can. I’m around halfway through my career and I’m not looking forward to hanging up my helmet.” In a round of television interviews, he glowed with happiness after claiming his second win at one of the circuits that has not been kind to him in the past and is not, he said, one of his favourites.
“The car was feeling really good — I started with more front end than Nico — and in the middle stint I took it easy for the first few laps out. Then, after the virtual safety car, I was able to push and get the gap out again.” Asked by former McLaren driver David Coulthard if he felt sorry for his team-mate, Hamilton, who has had a difficult relationship with Rosberg, smiled. “Why would I feel sorry for Nico,” said.
Hamilton added that he had done extra work in preparation for the start of the race, following some regulation changes and after a run of poor getaways. “I have really enjoyed driving the car, particularly the last couple of races,” he said.
“I have been working really hard on the starts to make sure I understood all the facts. The start was good. I hope at some stage we will have gears or a clutch pedal!“ Later, he said that contrary to speculation in some newspapers, he revelled in his busy trans-Atlantic lifestyle in which he has spent time with friends and family, and been photographed with many famous faces, in the United States and the Caribbean.
“I was super-refreshed after my holidays,” he said. “I had such a good break, a great holiday. And so to come here this weekend and to have got the qualifying and to translate it today, phew, I feel so glad in my heart.” He added that he felt also that his relationship and team-work with his race engineering team was closer and better than ever.
“I had it where I wanted it and it was the same at the last race and we are gelling more than ever, with the engineers, and we have a great package together now.” Hamilton added he felt had conquered a circuit that had always been a challenge to him and where he had only tasted victory on one previous occasion, for McLaren in 2010.
“This is a really difficult track for me and this is one of those where I have struggled a bit,” he said.
“When it is raining it is a bit easier for me! This weekend I did my best and I got the most I could out of one of my so-called weaker circuits.”