Hockenheim:Lewis Hamilton earned his blockbuster wages with a German Grand Prix victory that will go down in the annals of the sport.
The four-times Formula One world champion, now the winner of 66 races, struggled to keep his emotions in check on an afternoon that saw him rise from 14th on the starting grid to finish first.
“Today I feel like I drove the best that I can remember driving,” declared the Briton, who had vowed to race as if his life depended on it after his Mercedes broke down in Saturday qualifying.
“There have been other great ones: Silverstone 2008 was pretty great, but I went off (there) so 99.8,” he said. “This one, I didn’t make any mistakes at all.
“It’s been the most emotional day. Up and down,” added the 33-year-old, who was summoned to see stewards more than an hour after the end of the race for a pitlane infringement and given a reprimand.
“Today is one of the most unbelievable days for me because… I prayed as I always do before the race and my prayers were really answered. It freaks me out a little bit more than normal.”
Hamilton had started the weekend with the announcement of a new two-year contract worth a reported 40 million pounds ($52.55 million) a year.
He had also arrived in Hockenheim on the back of a home defeat at Silverstone to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who had boasted about beating his rival in Britain and taking the British flag back to Marenello.