Lewis Hamilton has likened his Hungarian Grand Prix win to a sticking plaster for his tortured soul and promised to return in better shape after Formula 1’s August break.
The 2008 world champion’s first win for Mercedes since his move from McLaren at the end of last year was just the boost the Briton needed as the sport wrapped up the first half of the season.
Hamilton has been suffering emotionally after breaking up, not for the first time, with American singer girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger even if his focus on the racetrack has been unwavering.
Before the race he had taken inspiration by repeating Malvolio’s words in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night': “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
On Sunday, even as the Briton celebrated one of his great victories in the searing heat of the Hungaroring, he said he had been thinking of her during the race.
“It definitely picks you up,” he told British reporters of the 22nd win of his career and first for a team other than McLaren in F1. “It will definitely keep me right on a high for a few days.
“It’s just a natural high that you get, a bit of a Band Aid that will cover me for some time.”
Hamilton knows the importance of winning before a prolonged break, the feel-good factor lifting the team and allowing them to go on holiday with their heads held high.
It happened to him at the same point last year with McLaren, when he also won in Hungary, and to that team in 2011, 2009, 2008 and 2007.
“There is no better feeling for a team to going into a break with a win,” he said. “I was lucky enough to do it with McLaren. It was always a real good boost for them to go into that period of time relaxed, knowing that we’d had a win.
“So I feel it will do the same for this team, and the for first time they have that feeling going into a break. It’s a big boost for us, and also we’ll maybe have a better chance of moving forward [in] these next few races.”
Despite the win, Hamilton is still only fourth in the drivers’ standings – 48 points behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel with nine rounds to go – and Mercedes are second in the constructors’ championship.
Vettel, chasing his fourth successive title, has historically been stronger in the second half of the season but so too has Hamilton and he said he would do all he could to improve his chances.
“I’m just going to train over this summer break. Normally I don’t really train much over the summer break, maybe just a little bit, but I mostly enjoy and relax,” said the Monaco resident.
“This time I’m going to train intensely, continue doing what I did last week, get my head down and come back hopefully stronger for the second half of the season.
“I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season, the second half is usually my favourite part.” (Reuters)
Subbed by AJN.