Lewis Hamilton said that winning the Sao Paulo Grand Prix was made all the sweeter by the adversity he overcame during the weekend.
The Brit started 10th on the grid after he was handed penalties for a rear-wing infringement during qualifying and taking a fifth engine of the season. However, Hamilton slalomed his way through the field, passing world championship leader Max Verstappen 12 laps from the end to take a vital victory.
The Dutchman would finish second, meaning the Mercedes driver cut the gap at the top of the leaderboard to 13 points with three races remaining.
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"It was one of the most fun races I have had in a long time,” began Hamilton.
“I definitely did not know whether I would be able to overtake, and obviously I had two Red Bulls [Verstappen and Sergio Perez] to get past, right? So they were working as well as a team.
“But it was just kind of crazy to think that where we started Saturday, last and then I got up to fifth [in the sprint race] and then I realised I have got to go back another five places. And then [I thought], by the time I even get [to the front of the race], Max will be gone. But he was not that far ahead when I finally got there."
The seven-time world champion added that success in the context of adversity made the win sweeter.
Success always feels sweeter when you face adversity.
"And yes, when you start first and have success, there is a journey to get there, of course, but this is far, far greater. This is one of the most beautiful feelings that I have had in a win, knowing that I have had all those push-backs and setbacks."
Verstappen, who finished second, said that he expects to see the “more power” Mercedes has enjoyed after taking a fresh engine to level out in the coming weeks.
"I mean, I knew it was going to be difficult, but I tried everything I could, and I think we had some good battles [with Hamilton]. But, yeah, clearly we were just lacking a bit today,” began the championship leader.
“Also, just top speed-wise, it was really tough to defend. Yeah, you could clearly see when Mercedes take a fresh engine, it gives them a bit more power. So, hopefully, now in the coming races, that will die down slowly.
"But at least it was fun. Of course, I would have liked to have won, but realistically, I think this was a positive result."
The battle for the drivers championship heads to Qatar next weekend.
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