Hamilton 'still in race mode mentally' after record-breaking win

Oleh Tom Webber 25 Oktober 2020 6
Hamilton 'still in race mode mentally' after record-breaking win

Lewis Hamilton assured he is "still very much in race mode mentally" after completing a record-breaking 92nd Formula One victory at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Six-time champion Hamilton moved level with Michael Schumacher at the top of the all-time wins list with his 91st success at the Eifel Grand Prix two weeks ago.

The Mercedes driver took sole ownership of first place with a commanding triumph in Portimao, converting pole position after slipping back to third inside the opening two laps.

Hamilton intends to stay with the Silver Arrows in 2021 despite having yet to sign a contract, and his latest achievement has done nothing to diminish his hunger to continue winning and improving.

"It's going to take some time for it to still fully sink in, but I was still pushing flat out coming across the line. I'm still very much in race mode, mentally," said Hamilton, who opened up a 77-point lead in the drivers' standings.

"I could only have ever dreamed of being where I am today. I didn't have a magic ball when I chose to come to this team and partner with these great people but here I am.

"What I can tell you is that we're trying to make the most of it every single day. We've all grown in the same direction and that's why you've seen the success that we're having.

"I owe it all to these guys here and back at the factory for their tremendous work. They're continuously innovating and pushing the target higher every year. It's such a privilege working with them and I'm so grateful for all the moments.

"The reliability has been absolutely incredible thanks to Mercedes and all our partners. No one is sitting back on their success, everyone is pushing and pushing. That's the most incredible thing to be surrounded by, because it inspires you. There's nothing quite like that collaboration."

Hamilton ended up finishing over 25 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas despite struggling with cramp in his calf during the final laps.

"Today was tough, it was all about temperatures and that was something I pre-empted with the set-up," he said. "They said it was going to rain straight after the race but we got some spitting at the start.

"I had a good start, then got into turn seven and had a huge oversteer moment, and you don't know what's next, so I really backed off massively and arguably I should've tried to defend from Valtteri but I was like, 'I'll come back later on.' Fortunately that's what I was able to do.

"It's an incredibly physical sport and I had a cramp in my right calf. I was lifting quite often down the straight because it would start to pull. Pretty painful, but I had to somehow get through it. It is what it is, you can't lift the whole lap."

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