LEWIS HAMILTON hailed what he described as McLaren’s “best weekend” this season following a superb German Grand Prix victory.
Hamilton went from cruise control to fighting like a tiger to take the chequered flag at Hockenheim following a horror smash involving Toyota’s Timo Glock on lap 35 of the 67-lap race.
In front of his home fans, Glock hurtled backwards into a concrete wall along the start-finish straight after a section of the right rear of his car gave way emerging out of the final corner.
It brought the safety car into play, with McLaren’s strategists at the team’s headquarters in Woking deciding he did not need to stop when the pit lane re-opened, unlike 11 others who dived in.
That almost cost Hamilton as the safety car stayed out longer than anticipated, so when he did finally pit for a second time 17 laps from home, he was relegated from the lead to fifth.
Although Hamilton was aided by teammate Heikki Kovalainen allowing him by, and a Nick Heidfeld pit stop, he showed frightening pace to catch and stunningly pass Felipe Massa and Nelson Piquet late on.
“I think it has been our best weekend up until now,” said Hamilton who was dominant in practice and qualifying.
“We have been very strong throughout, as we were in the recent test here.
“The team have done a great job, and we are really on top of our game right now.
“But we cannot get too far ahead of ourselves. We have got a lot of work to do for the rest of the season.
“But if we can continue with this momentum we’re looking very good.
“Now it’s on to the next race, with Hungary a very good one for us, so fingers crossed.”
The only blemish, if it can be described as such, was the decision to remain on track when taking on new tyres and fuelling to the end would arguably have suited Hamilton better.
But he refused to point too much of an accusing finger, adding: “We probably should have come in.
“But at the end of the day I don’t understand exactly what’s going on behind me, and I have to have full confidence in the guys telling me what to do.
“So I’m totally happy with the decision they made. We perhaps could have done a better job, but nevertheless we were quickest.
“Clearly, it made my job a little bit harder, but I told Ron (Dennis) ‘that’s what you hire me to do, that’s what I’m here for’.”
Renault’s Piquet held on for second for the result of his career, keeping at bay Massa who now trails Hamilton by four points in the drivers’ standings.
Behind the leading trio came Heidfeld, followed by Finns Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari, who is seven points behind Hamilton.
Robert Kubica was seventh in the BMW Sauber with Sebastian Vettel taking the final point for Toro Rosso.