Lewis Hamilton ‘so happy’ to win Styrian GP, hails Mercedes gesture

Personnel from Mercedes team joined Hamilton in taking a knee pre-race; Hamilton dominated Styrian GP for first 2020 win

Last Updated: 12/07/20 6:58pm

A robust message on the podium from Lewis Hamilton after winning the Styrian GP

Lewis Hamilton said that he was “over the moon” to rebound in Austria with a dominant first win of the F1 season, as he also reflected on a “beautiful” moment before the race when Mercedes joined him in having a knee.

Hamilton dominated Sunday’s Styrian GP from start to finish for his 85th career win – just six far from Michael Schumacher’s record – a week after finishing a penalised fourth at the exact same circuit following a disappointing week-end by the six-time champion’s high standards.

The 35-year-old is certainly renowned for hitting right back straight away after setbacks and asked how he manages it, Hamilton told Sky F1: “With great difficulty, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

“The last week-end definitely was psychologically challenging to have the penalties and then to be called into the stewards on Sunday morning right before the race. Then [to] get still another penalty and another one in the race.

Lewis Hamilton says he’s ‘over the moon’ after taking his first victory of the season in dominant fashion in the Styrian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he’s ‘over the moon’ after taking his first victory of the season in dominant fashion in the Styrian Grand Prix

“It’s never easy, but there’s nothing you are able to do about the past, all you may do is focus and channel your energy to the future. So, I just ensured I stayed here, trained well, ate well, slept well and worked hard with Bono [Peter Bonnington, Hamilton’s race engineer] and the guys to understand where last week-end went wrong and corrected it this weekend.”

Hamilton, who unusually had only won once in seven attempts at the Red Bull Ring, added: “I don’t know why there are tracks that some drivers are stronger than others, but this is one of my weak circuits, so to get a performance like this today I’m over the moon. I’m so happy. But I do also know there’s a long way to go.”

Hamilton joined by Mercedes team in having a knee

For the second race in a row, Hamilton and many his fellow drivers took a knee at the front of the grid in support of Black Lives Matter and anti-racism.

Hamilton was joined in making the gesture by personnel from his Mercedes team, along with other team personnel, further right back on the grid.

“I didn’t see it exactly. I was told just before the race that we’re going to do it,” said Hamilton.

“It’s not at all something I asked for them to do, but it’s really a beautiful thing. It does not take a lot to take action like that, and it’s really not changing the world, but perhaps shifting of perceptions and shifting ideals.

“We’ll just keep going.”

The Sky F1 team discuss if the sport does enough to address the problem of racism and convey a unified message

The Sky F1 team discuss whether the sport is doing enough to address the issue of racism and convey a unified message

Hamilton said the team’s culture of wanting to learn and always progress underpinned the six-time champion’s unprecedented achievements in F1 after they opened another season with back-to-back wins.

“We’ve had so much success over these years and the easiest thing is to lose focus, to ease up and lose determination I guess,” remarked the Briton. “I do not see that ever happening in this team, it just doesn’t seem to exist with us.

“The guys back at the factory are relentless. The guys here [at the track] continue to be passionate about what they do.

“We are so united and you saw today on the grid we all took the knee together and that is shown [that] with Mercedes we are learning along the way, and they are learning along the way, and being accepting of change.

“But also when we’re talking about the vehicle, they jump straight about it, they don’t jump to conclusions, they do great research and this week-end we’ve maybe not had any problems thankfully. Still there is a long way to go and it’s really a challenge for all with their cars but it was a step forwards without a doubt.”

Hamilton leaves F1’s Austrian double header just six points behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the top of early drivers’ standings. The Finn finished 2nd after winning last week.

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