BARCELONA, May 13, 2012 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton shrugged off his own private feelings over a topsy-turvy weekend to congratulate Sir Frank Williams and his team on Sunday after Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado claimed his maiden victory, and the team's first since 2004, at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton, who ran to the Williams team garage to see team founder Frank Williams personally, said he was very happy that Maldonado had triumphed.
"I am very happy for them," he said, after driving from 24th and last on the grid to finish eighth. "They have done a great job this year and they deserve it.
"And I am proud of myself and the team. We did a good job to come all the way from the back, we battled through and conserving the tyres was tough. Someone told me that I was only the person on a two-stop, so I think that considering everyone keeps telling me that I am hard on tyres and how much smoother my team-mate is, I think that should show them.
"I just nursed them all the way through. I just cleared my mind and got on with it from the back of the grid. It was like being back in the karting days.
Sometimes I would turn up with my dad and that is something that we would have to do."
Hamilton offered his congratulations before a fuel fire ignited in the Williams team garage. Ambulances and fire fighters were called but there were, fortunately, only two slightly injured.
Hamilton drove with great panache on a revised two-stop strategy and was close to taking seventh from Nico Rosberg of Mercedes on the final lap.
His McLaren team-mate Jenson Button had little reason for satisfaction after finishing ninth.
"I was ok in clear air but as soon as I get in traffic, I can't get heat into the tyres and I just don't know why that is. I'm struggling at the moment with long-run pace - and that's something I always work very hard on," said Button.
"I'm going to fly home tonight and forget about this one..."