Lewis Hamilton admits he was “devastated” when he found out he was disqualified from the qualifying results at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix before fighting back to fifth place in the Sprint.
The defending champion was due to start from first place for the short qualifying race but was investigated for a DRS infringement overnight, which the stewards accepted was a failure of some sort on Mercedes’ part. With no obvious reason for the issue, Hamilton was excluded from the results and had to start the Sprint from 20th on the grid, but delivered a thrilling recovery drive to finish in the top five.
“It was definitely tough, and I think while the team were working away delegating with the stewards I was just trying to focus on the work with the engineers, and keeping the morale with the mechanics high, just focusing on the job at hand and not thinking about it,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.
“Of course, just before (the Sprint) I heard about the result and was devastated but you can’t let it hold you back, got to keep your head down and keep going, quickly reset, put my mind focused on doing what I could do and just giving it my everything.”
After making up 15 places in the race, Hamilton will start from 10th position on Sunday due to a grid penalty for exceeding power unit components, and he says he had no expectations or clear targets of what he could achieved before the Sprint.
“Honestly, had no idea what was possible, I didn’t set a limit or a maximum. I think when I was at the back of the grid just before the formation lap I could maybe see like 10th and I was like ‘OK, that’s my goal, I will try and get as far as possible’, but all of a sudden was chipping away at it much faster.
“I really used a lot of different things for fuel today, I just can’t give up, you’ve got to keep pushing.”