Lewis Hamilton ‘so happy’ to win Styrian GP, hails Mercedes gesture

Lewis Hamilton said he was “over the moon” to rebound in Austria with a dominant first win of the F1 season, as he also reflected on a “beautiful” moment before the race when Mercedes joined him in taking a knee.

Hamilton dominated Sunday’s Styrian GP from start to finish for his 85th career win – just six away from Michael Schumacher’s record – a week after finishing a penalised fourth at the same circuit after a disappointing weekend by the six-time champion’s high standards.

  • Some drivers take a knee, others stand
  • Hamilton takes first F1 2020 win, Ferraris crash

The 35-year-old has long been renowned for hitting back straight away after setbacks and asked how he manages it, Hamilton told Sky F1: “With great difficulty, but where there’s a will there’s a way.

“The last weekend definitely was psychologically challenging to have the penalties and then to be called into the stewards on Sunday morning just before the race. Then [to] get another penalty and then another one in the race.

We stand together ✊🏾 the team today took the knee which was just amazing to see that together we can learn and be open minded of what’s going on in the world. Thank you to everyone in my team and to you #TeamLH, I appreciate all of your support and your positive messages 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/zfKGdjDjce

“It’s never easy, but there’s nothing you can do about the past, all you can do is focus and channel your energy to the future. So, I just made sure I stayed here, trained well, ate well, slept well and worked hard with Bono [Peter Bonnington, Hamilton’s race engineer] and the guys to understand where last weekend went wrong and corrected it this weekend.”

Hamilton, who unusually had only won once in seven attempts at the Red Bull Ring, added: “I don’t know why there are tracks that some drivers are stronger than others, but this is one of my weak circuits, so to get a performance like this today I’m over the moon. I’m so happy. But I do also know there’s a long way to go.”

Hamilton joined by Mercedes team in taking a knee

For the second race in a row, Hamilton and some of his fellow drivers took a knee at the front of the grid in support of Black Lives Matter and anti-racism. Of the drivers present, all wearing anti-racism T-shirts, 12 took a knee while four stood.

Hamilton was joined in making the gesture by team members from Mercedes, and other team personnel, further back on the grid.

“I didn’t see it exactly. I was told just before the race that we’re going to do it,” said Hamilton, who raised his right fist on the podium in a Black Power salute after the race.

“It’s not something I asked for them to do, but it’s a beautiful thing. It doesn’t take a lot to do something like that, and it’s not changing the world, but perhaps shifting of perceptions and shifting ideals.

“We’ll just keep going.”

Hamilton said the team’s culture of wanting to learn and always move forward underpinned the six-time champion’s unprecedented achievements in F1 after they opened up another season with back-to-back wins.

“We’ve had so much success over these years and the easiest thing is to lose focus, to ease up and lose determination I guess,” remarked the Briton. “I don’t see that ever happening in this team, it just doesn’t seem to exist with us.

“The guys back at the factory are relentless. The guys here [at the track] continue to be passionate about what they do.

“We are so united and you saw today on the grid we all took the knee together and that’s shown [that] with Mercedes we are learning along the way, and they’re learning on the way, and being accepting of change.

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