Hamilton: Pit lane start like karting days

Lewis Hamilton went from starting the Brazilian Grand Prix from the pit lane and finished within DRS range of a podium position – and says it reminded him of karting days to fight through the pack.

Hamilton was blessed with an early safety car, after Vandoorne and Ocon were taken out by separate first lap incidents, which allowed him to catch up the back of the grid-starting pack and to make his way up to 14th rapidly, before fighting through traffic to make his way up to a competition for podium. He has previously made his way to a third-place finish from the back of the grid in Spa 2016 but failed to take Raikkonen in a final dash at Interlagos.

Talking about coming through the field, he said: “That was fun. Felt like very reminiscent of my karting days when I would always start at the back, particularly in my first year or two. I think on one side for sure I messed up yesterday and put myself in the worst position.

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“I was quick enough to win the race from pole to the flag, but I didn’t do that, so it made the job a lot harder today.”

Hamilton’s pit lane start was prompted by a crash before he set a time in Q1, coming off at Ferradura and wrecking his car. The newly-crowned four-time F1 world champion described today as a recovery drive from that incident and as an apology to his team.

“I think waking up this morning, my goal was really to try and redeem myself from yesterday’s mistake and really do the team proud and try and get the points back.”

Discussing the incident, he admitted it was a pure driver error, saying there was no excuse.

“There’s no room for mistakes when it comes to wanting to be the best. There’s no room for mistakes. But of course it happens, and that’s part of the growing process. But that’s not what you work towards.

“I’ve had a very, very clean year, had no crashes and damaged the car. But as I said, yesterday is behind me. Today has been positive.

“To get back to fourth, I have to be very, very grateful and very happy with that for sure. A big thank you to all the fans that have voted for me. I tell you I gave it everything. I had nothing left in my heart or the car.”

Amidst speculation he might follow former teammate Nico Rosberg into retirement, Hamilton repeat his sentiment of relishing the on-track battles in F1.

“I enjoyed the race. I enjoyed the battle, and hopefully that continues to show everyone that I still have a lot of fire in my heart still.”

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