Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Team driver Lewis Hamilton became the youngest World Champion in the history of Formula One. The youngster only collected his crown in the final corner of the Interlagos track. He discusses the race and what went through him when he crossed the finish line.
Lewis, you made history, are you really aware what you have done?
"I don’t think it has hit home yet, I just had the most intense race of my life and my heart is still racing, I’m just so thankful for the opportunity the team gave me. Huge respect to McLaren and Mercedes-Benz for giving me a wonderful opportunity, for everyone involved with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and my family who came here and supported me and people back home as well, without them I wouldn’t be doing this. Felipe did an amazing job today, congratulations for his win and for challenging me all year but it’s great to be on top."
We almost couldn’t stand the last laps, what was it like from inside the car?
"My heart was about to explode, just like yours. I don’t know how I kept my cool and I was very fortunate especially on the last lap and you know, this has been my dream."
Talk us through the last few corners?
"I had a problem with my tyres, they were beginning to grain, there was nothing I could do, I was just trying to keep my car on the track. My heart was in my mouth and I was trying to get back in front of him. Fortunately, there was the opportunity to get back in front of Glock and I did what I had to do. We came, we saw and we did what we needed to do."
We could see pictures of Glock slowing down – did the team tell you that?
"They did, just before I got to him, they said you have to get past Glock. I was trying my hardest to get to Vettel but he was just as quick as me – if not quicker. It was the toughest races of my life – if not the toughest."
Your dad was so nervous in the pitlane, how was your heart level in the car?
"My heartbeat level was crazy, I think everyone else was the same, I don’t know what would have happened if I had lost that in the last lap, but that doesn’t matter now."
Describe the feeling when you crossed the line and knew you were World Champion?
"I didn’t know, I was shouting – ‘do I have it? do I have it?’ As I came into turn 1 they told me – I was ecstatic, just ecstatic."
You have managed to repay the faith that McLaren and Mercedes have shown you from such an early age?
"I am speechless, I am struggling to say anything. I’m just thankful and proud of the team and everyone around me. I am so thankful I could return the favour. It is the dream, this is the dream. This is the dream for other kids and other families. Thank you."
What is the Lewis way of celebrating your first World Championship?
"I’m going to celebrate with my family and my team. We will have a party tonight for sure."
Is it even more special to do it here in Brazil?
"On Senna’s home ground – it would always be special."