Mansell's support delights Hamilton

Mansell's support delights Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton thanked the man whose Formula One record he now owns for his support over the years, before turning on those he feels have harshly treated him in the past.

Victory in the United States Grand Prix meant Hamilton became the most successful driver in F1 history in terms of race wins, claiming his 32nd to edge him ahead of Nigel Mansell.

The 1992 world champion was quick to congratulate Hamilton after the race which has left the 29-year-old in sight of his second title as he leads Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 24 points with two races remaining.

Appreciating the message, and many other kind words that have gone before it from Mansell, Hamilton said: “Nigel has been very, very supportive this year. It’s good to have support.”

But then Hamilton added: “I see a lot of negative stories and negative things said from legendary ex-drivers.

“I always think to myself ’why would you not want to be supporting me? We’re from the same place’. Everyone has their own opinion.

“But it’s great to see someone like Nigel, who has achieved a huge amount, who has said ’I was there, I did it, I owned the T-shirt’. As I say, it’s nice to have that support.”

Hamilton believes Mansell has also taught him lessons he will carry forward with him for when he too is out of the sport

“One day when I’m gone and I return to watch, I want to be supportive,” said Hamilton.

“I want to be seeing the next Brit come through and be encouraging rather than kicking them in the guts.

“That’s what I would like to be doing. I want to be inspiring young drivers rather than talking crap.”

The victory was Hamilton’s 10th this season and his fifth in succession, with just six drivers in F1 previously achieving such a feat – Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Mansell, Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark and Jack Brabham.

Such statistics, and taking Mansell’s record, made Hamilton again realise just how far he has come.

He said: “I hadn’t been really thinking about it (the record) at all before the race.

“Even when I crossed the line I was just so excited. But then my engineer said something about it, and I thought, ’Wow!’

“To be with Nigel, with those greats, I do feel very proud at what I have achieved.

“Who would ever have thought us Hamiltons would get to where we have when I look back at when we turned up at a track the first year in karting?

“We had the crappiest little box trailer with the kart on top, and whilst others had awnings, we had an umbrella.

“It was almost like everyone thought ’What are they doing here?’ It was so funny, but I’m so very, very proud of this.”

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