Lewis Hamilton: Belgian Grand Prix was title race turning point

Double Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says August's controversial Belgian Grand Prix was the key turning point in his title-winning season

Lewis Hamilton: Belgian Grand Prix was title race turning point

Hamilton ended the Spa weekend 29 points off Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg after a collision on the second lap of the race.

Mercedes publicly reprimanded Rosberg for his part in the collision, and Hamilton subsequently went on a run of five consecutive grand prix victories to turn that deficit into a 24-point advantage heading into the final two races of the season.

The British racer went on to clinch the crown comfortably with victory in the double points Abu Dhabi finale, but revealed during Sunday's AUTOSPORT Awards that Spa had been the defining moment of his campaign.

When asked to pin point his key moment of 2014, Hamilton replied: "Naturally it was Spa.

"Not getting to the finish line in the first race [in Australia] after all the winter training was tough, but me and the guys just kept pushing and working hard though all the problems - staying close and lifting each other's spirits.

"When we had the troubles in Spa, it was 'do or die' after that!"

TITLE VINDICATES MERCEDES MOVE

Hamilton said winning his second world title also vindicated his decision to quit McLaren and join Mercedes at the end of the 2012 season.

"A lot of people doubted the decision I made to move to this team, but when I sat with Niki [Lauda] and Ross [Brawn], who explained all the changes and plans for the future, I knew straightaway they had the right plans in place," Hamilton said.

"When I joined I never thought we'd be winning and dominating as fast as we have.

"I'm really fortunate to have the best team and the best car - we did an amazing job together."

RELISHING ROSBERG RIVALRY

Hamilton's rivalry with Rosberg has caused tension in the Mercedes team this year, but the Brit said he was looking forward to renewing that fight in 2015 as he attempts to match his hero Ayrton Senna's tally of three world titles.

"I had an interesting time with Nico through the year," Hamilton added.

"I met Nico in 1997 I think, when we were racing karts in Italy.

"He was the up-and-coming kid there, racing with the top team CRG, while I was racing with Top Kart.

"We had an amazing race together - we were much better friends back then for sure!

"It's an intense battle with a team-mate who's got the exact same car as you, who is sitting opposite you; I wish you could see the mind games that go on!

"I had a great competitor in Nico - I look forward to racing him next year."

shares
comments
Some F1 teams targeting engine freeze loophole for 2015

Previous article

Some F1 teams targeting engine freeze loophole for 2015

Next article

Video: Jenson Button speaks about his F1 future with McLaren

Video: Jenson Button speaks about his F1 future with McLaren
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Racing Point
Author Ben Anderson
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021