Hamilton 'overwhelmed' by victory

Lewis Hamilton said he was "absolutely overwhelmed" after taking his first win of the year in China

Hamilton 'overwhelmed' by victory

The McLaren driver put on a superb performance to end Sebastian Vettel's run of victories in Shanghai, the Briton grabbing his first win since last year's Belgian Grand Prix.

"I am absolutely overwhelmed," said Hamilton. "It feels like a long time since I was sitting here. I am proud and grateful for all the hard work I have put in.

"I will continue to push and looking forward to many more like this."

Hamilton admitted his decision to save a set of soft tyres for the race, compromising his qualifying strategy, had paid off.

"I think today the strategy that we came up with going in to qualifying definitely helped," he said. "Our new option tyres seemed to last a bit longer than the guys in front.

"It was quite a few things that came together. The pitstops were fantastic, the guys were pushing to improve, the car felt great.

"I was trying to nurse my tyres and trying to pick up the pace. The guys in front of me had to do a lot of overtaking. Thumbs up to the guys back at factory, who put their heart into making the car what it is on the GP weekend. It feels amazing."

The British driver was lucky to be able to start from his grid slot, after a fuel leak forced his mechanics to work at full speed before the pitlane closed ahead of the start of the race.

Hamilton left the pits with just seconds left, his car still missing some parts of the bodywork.

"I don't think worried was coming into my thoughts. I'm not sure what went on, but we took a lot of of bodywork off. We knew there was six minutes to go and then with two minutes fortunately everything came together very quickly.

"But of course for me it is important to stay as calm as possible as that reflects on the guys in the garage. They got the car out which is the most important thing."

And the former world champion insisted McLaren must keep pushing to close the gap on Red Bull in qualifying trim.

"I think obviously we still have a long road ahead of us. We are working very hard to close the gap. In race pace we are quite similar, but in qualifying we still have a lot of work to do."

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