Gallery: Monaco win highlight of my career, says Hamilton
PUBLISHED: 19:05 25 May 2008 | UPDATED: 22:17 26 October 2009
LEWIS Hamilton described today s victory in Monaco as the highlight of his career so far. Hamilton gambled in Monte Carlo after an early crash and came up trumps. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver not only won the Monaco Grand Prix but also took the
LEWIS Hamilton described today's victory in Monaco as "the highlight" of his career so far.
Hamilton gambled in Monte Carlo after an early crash and came up trumps.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver not only won the Monaco Grand Prix but also took the lead in the Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship.
After 76 turbulent laps in changeable weather conditions and with two safety car periods, Hamilton took the chequered flag three seconds ahead of Robert Kubica in the BMW and 4.8 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
It was Hamilton's sixth grand prix victory and the second of the season after Australia.
"I am absolutely over the moon," said Hamilton after collecting his trophy on the podium.
"To win here in Monaco is the highlight of my career and an occasion I will always remember.
"I want to thank everybody in the team for their fantastic job, and also my family for their continuous support."
The 23-year-old from Tewin had to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap six after he damaged his tyre hitting the barrier at the Tabac corner.
The team consequently changed his strategy, and he made his refuelling stop on lap 54.
"It was a very eventful race," said Hamilton.
"I started well and immediately overtook Kimi (Raikkonen), and also saw a chance to attack Felipe (Massa), but then the rain got heavier and visibility worsened.
"At the Tabac corner, there was a lot of water on the track, and suddenly I had oversteer and hit the barrier.
"It was just a slight touch, but the tyre was damaged and I had to pit.
"Fortunately, the first safety car period helped me to close the gap to the front."
That unscheduled stop for new tyres - as well as fuel - ironically helped Hamilton to win the race.
Hamilton said: "We changed our strategy, and I had to make only one more stop.
"When I was about 40 seconds ahead the team told me over the radio to take it easy."
That lead was cut after the safety car was deployed for a second time in the closing laps.
Hamilton said: "The second safety car period brought more excitement, but I was able to control the race also after the second re-start.
"What a day and what a result."
Hamilton now heads to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 8. He won in Canada last year.
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