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Lewis “It’s history for us, so I feel very proud to be a part of it”

Lewis “It’s history for us, so I feel very proud to be a part of it”

Lewis, you’ve won first ever Russian Grand Prix in exactly 100 years! How does that feel?

It’s a beautiful day and a great result. Nico did a great job to recover from his mistake earlier on today and the car was performing really well. We did a great job as a team. I’m just so proud to have contributed to, and to have worked with, this great team to get the first Constructors’ Championship for Mercedes-Benz. I could have only dreamed of that when I joined. It’s history for us, so I feel very proud to be a part of it. Huge congratulations to all the guys that are here and back home in the UK and also in Germany.

We could see you were pushing very hard by the number of fastest laps you did – but it all seemed very controlled. How did it feel behind the wheel?

Once I was out in the lead I was really just having to control the race – looking after the tyres and managing the fuel was quite straightforward. Towards the end of the race the car felt great so I could choose to push or not push. I wasn’t really having to push much, though, and even when I was having to pick up the pace a little bit when I eventually found Nico was behind, it was easy to match the times. The car has been amazing this weekend and I really, really enjoyed the track. I tell you, Russia’s been one of my favourite places so far this year, so it’s very cool to have won the first race here.

What are your thoughts on the first Formula One Russian Grand Prix?

I’m so happy to be here. We’ve had an amazing week. From the fans to the organisers, Russia has been so good to me and to the team. I’m so grateful for all the support and I’m really looking forward to coming here many, many more times. It’s not very far from where I live so I’m going to be hopping over for some holidays for sure.

How would you describe your experience on the podium?

Well, it was kind of normal really – if a kind of surreal for the president to be presenting the award. That was a great experience. The crowd have been amazing this weekend. I didn’t know that Formula One was something people followed here in Russia. I didn’t know that there was actually a real love for it. To see the people turn out in their thousands yesterday and fill the grandstands, then do the same again today... they’re really enthusiastic. It looks like they’re really excited that we’re here and on top of that the organisers did an amazing job with the track – the layout, the surface, the actual event. You would have thought they’d had this event many, many times. I take my hat off to them.

Your ninth victory of the season gives you a 17 point lead in the Drivers’ Championship. In 2007 you had the same 17 point gap at this stage. Are you afraid of history repeating itself?

I remember 2007 very well. I wasn’t afraid then either but I guess I was perhaps less experienced. I’m a completely different man today and I’m looking forward to the races coming up.

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