The reaction to Lewis Hamilton’s comeback win at Interlagos after his qualifying disqualification had appeared to strike a hammer blow to his world title hopes; 1996 world champion Damon Hill leads the tributes
Last Updated: 15/11/21 1:09pm
Sky F1’s Damon Hill has described Lewis Hamilton’s “utterly awesome” against-the-odds victory in the Sao Paulo GP as “one of the best drives I’ve ever seen in F1”.
Hamilton’s 101st F1 triumph, from 10th on the grid after two separate demotions across the sprint format weekend, keeps him firmly in the title hunt against Max Verstappen just as his Dutch rival had looked poised to edge away.
Showing relentless speed across the Interlagos weekend, Hamilton was comfortably the fastest driver in Friday night’s qualifying session, but was then sent to the back of the grid for Saturday’s short-format sprint due to a technical disqualification.
However, he rose to fifth place in the space of 24 laps. A five-place penalty for an earlier engine change sent him back five rows for the start of Sunday’s main race, but Hamilton was in a podium place inside five laps and overtook Verstappen for the lead on lap 59.
The performance earned plaudits far and wide – particularly from fellow world champion, Hill.
“That was one of the best drives I’ve ever seen in F1,” tweeted Hill, the 1996 title winner.
“By anyone. Utterly awesome.”
When his countryman’s comments were put to him in the post-race press conference, Hamilton said: “Well, it never gets old hearing positive comments from such a great driver in Damon.
“I remember being such a big fan of his when I was younger, when he was racing and obviously we’re now men, we don’t kind of get too much… but I’ve always admired Damon and I think he’s always been super supportive, so I really do appreciate that.”
Hamilton’s victory charge – the social reaction
A 25-place penalty.
He’s Lewis ? Hamilton.
Sensational weekend from @LewisHamilton in Brazil… Further proof that the greatest drivers win the races you don’t expect them to.????
He’s well rewarded by Merc but these are the weekends where he proves he’s worth every cent.