Hamilton hails 'incredible' victory
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Sunday, September 7th 2008, 14:02 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton hailed his victory at the Belgian Grand Prix as incredible after a frantic final three laps helped the Briton beat Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton looked set for second place until rain hit the Spa circuit and the McLaren driver began to lap quicker than his Ferrari rival.
After making contact with Raikkonen a few times, Hamilton emerged on top while Raikkonen lost control of his car on the final lap and crashed into the wall.
"It was an experience and a half," said Hamilton, the first driver to win five races this season.
"I could see Kimi ahead and after the second stop he was so far ahead, I didn't know he had made a gap. I was pushing, pushing, pushing, I was catching him one tenth a lap.
"I was praying for rain, I wanted the rain to come, I knew how to deal with it and the heavens opened. I saw Kimi about to back off, brake a lot earlier than he did, into Turn 8 and I knew the fight was on.
"I don't know if you saw when I went into Turn 12 I was going reasonably wide, it looked like Rosberg had done a spin and came back onto the track and I nearly crashed into him. I went over the grass, Kimi spun at the exit and I got it, it was straightforward from there. It was incredibly tough."
Hamilton first overtook Raikkonen when he jumped the Bus Stop chicane after the duo made contact. The Briton let the Finn pass, but overtook him again at the next corner.
Hamilton said Raikkonen had not been fair in their fight.
"He pushed me wide," added Hamilton, whose incident is under investigation. "I was a little bit ahead and on the outside of Turn 1, he could have been fair.
"I had no room so he basically pushed me where I would be on kerb and crash or use the exit route. I understood I had to let him past so I let him past.
"He was ducking and diving and I did the same and got inside. He hit me at the apex of the corner but I was gone from there."
The result allowed Hamilton to increase his lead in the championship to eight points to Felipe Massa, second today.
The McLaren driver was delighted with the way his weekend had gone.
"Fantastic weekend and just really I am stoked to have battled through the tough conditions. It was one of the most exciting races of my career. I love having battles with Kimi, it's great fun.
"The team did an incredible job as always, the car was great. I have to say a big thanks to them, the fans here too. We are going to keep pushing, keep feet on ground and keep pushing for the next races."