Lewis Hamilton: 'I dedicate this one to my family'
PUBLISHED: 16:26 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:21 20 February 2013
A charged atmosphere, an exhilarating race and an entry in the history books - what more could you want from a visit to the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone
A charged atmosphere, an exhilarating race and an entry in the history books - what more could you want from a visit to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Clare Bourke was there as Stevenage's own Lewis Hamilton made his dream come true
IT was the moment the world of motor sport had been waiting for - Lewis Hamilton racing to victory in the British Grand Prix, making not just his dreams come true but the hopes of a nation.
A driver can not get more support than when he is on home ground - and this was no exception. The crowd never tired of cheering every time Lewis sped past them, and in a Grand Prix that's a lot of cheering and a lot of airhorns.
And Lewis was certainly not oblivious to the cheers. 'I was coming to the last lap and I could see the crowd beginning to stand up and I was just praying, praying, praying, 'keep it on the track and just finish'. You could not believe the emotions inside. I wanted to push, get it round, and we did. The team did a fantastic job,' he added.
I was lucky enough to be there as a guest of Formula BMW to interview one of the young drivers for our sister publication Buckinghamshire Life but it gave me the perfect opportunity to watch Hertfordshire's Lewis in action.
And what a year to go - the very first time the 23-year-old driver scoops the top slot at Silverstone after a fantastic race. For the McLaren team choosing the right tyres in the changeable weather conditions was crucial for the victory but visibility became an issue too. As Lewis said, 'It was so extreme out there. I was having big problems with my visor, I couldn't see a thing, so always between turn one and two I would have to put the visor up and clean it on the inside and then put it down, and then I would have to do it again before Stowe. I had to do that nearly every lap, just to be able to see.'
Lewis made the perfect start when he beat Kimi Raikkonen and Mark Webber to the first corner and almost overtook his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, who started from pole position. Lewis settled in behind Kovalainen for several laps, but soon went past and dominated the race while some of his rivals struggled to cope with the conditions.
Lewis said, 'It is by far the best victory I've ever had. It was one of the toughest races I've ever done. As I was driving I was thinking, 'if I win this it will definitely be the best race I've ever won'. That's not only because of its history, but also because I'm on home ground and I drove one of my best races ever.'
Seeing him take to the podium in such a frenzy was a joy. The sheer delight was palpable and, unlike some of his fellow drivers, Lewis has no qualms about showing his emotions by jumping around.
And it was not just an emotional moment for Lewis but also for his family who were all there to watch. Lewis said, 'I want to dedicate this one to my family because, as you could see, I've had some troubles over the last couple of weeks and it's been really tough, but family is always there for you. I owe a big thank you to them.'
Lewis is now joint leader of the drivers' championship along with Felipe Massa and reigning champion Kimi Raikkonen.
To read more about Lewis Hamilton, visit www.hertfordshirelife.co.uk