ANTHONY HAMILTON hopes his son Lewis has inspired a generation in the wake of his breathtaking British Grand Prix victory.
Hamilton Jnr rocked Silverstone to its roots and sent the majority of a 90,000 rain-soaked crowd into a frenzy by taking the chequered flag at the end of 60 stunning laps.
He joins the pantheon of British legends to win on home soil comprising Sir Stirling Moss, Peter Collins, Jim Clark, Sir Jackie Stewart, James Hunt, John Watson, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert and David Coulthard.
The McLaren star’s win was emphatic, finishing 68.5 seconds clear of BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld, with Rubens Barrichello in his Honda the only other driver of the 13 who finished on the same lap.
After a torrid few weeks for the Hamiltons – both on and off track – dad Anthony believes Lewis’s win is a positive for them, the team and a nation.
“That was just mega,” exclaimed a jubilant Hamilton.
“What can I say? He puts more pressure on himself than anybody else, but he does his talking on the circuit.
“That was just great for the British public, great for Silverstone and great for Formula One.
“But also I think it’s great for all those little kids looking up to Lewis thinking, ‘I want to be like you’.
“I hope we’ve launched a lot of careers. I hope Lewis has inspired young kids to keep on the straight and narrow.
“And for all those families going through stress, grief and all that kind of stuff, is shows there are some good things that happen in life.
“Here we’ve a good guy who is living that kind of life. We need some good people in this world, and I think we have one in Lewis.”
McLaren boss Ron Dennis hailed Hamilton’s victory as “good for the Brits and good for us”.
Hamilton, who started from fourth on the grid after a poor run in qualifying, was not feeling too happy with himself at the start of the day.
Only after speaking with family and fans did he snap out of his lethargy and produce the drive of his life.
“Lewis is hard on himself, and that’s part of the problem. He is always hard on himself,” assessed Dennis.
“He knows the team works hard, and if he feels he hasn’t done his bit, then he says so.
“Because he beats himself up it’s not as productive as I would like, but that is part of the management challenge.
“But then you can see what he is like because he went out and drove a pretty faultless race.”
Hamilton admitted he had struggled to deal with the pressure leading up to the race, but revelled in the treacherous wet conditions.
“It was one of the toughest races I’ve ever done,” said the 23-year-old.
“This would definitely go down as my best win – not only because it was history and my home ground, but because I drove one of my best ever races.”
Hamilton had failed to score points in the last two races after making mistakes, but he said his family had helped him keep his feet on the ground and prepare for Silverstone.
The result means Hamilton is now tied on points with Raikkonen and Massa at the head of the championship, although technically the Englishman is leading on results countback.
But he refused to make any predictions about the title race.
“It’s difficult to say. It’s a work in progress, we’re doing a good job, and I’ve just got to keep building on it.
“We’re in a good place now, but there’s a lot of competition.”