BUDAPEST, July 28, 2013 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton said on Saturday it would be "a miracle" if he could win the Hungarian Grand Prix, but on Sunday his dream came true as he clinched his first victory as a Mercedes driver.
It was a decisive and utterly-deserved triumph at the mid-way point in the 2013 season, his fourth in Hungary and the 22nd of his career.
More than that, it pushed him back into the fight for the world championship and sent a message to all of his rivals that they need to up
their game when the title race resumes after Formula One's European summer break.
That will be in Belgium on August 25.
Hamilton, once the celebrations of Sunday's triumph are over, will not be spending the next three weeks on a beach.
Team factories may have to close down for two weeks to give everyone involved a rest, but the 2008 champion has little intention of easing off just when he has regained the momentum.
After his dazzling lights to flag win from his 30th pole position, he said: "I'm very surprised by the victory. I'm grateful to the team and the Mercedes board for inviting me into the team.
"After missing the [Silverstone] test we really did not think we would do so well. After the first stop, when I was ahead of Sebastian (Vettel), I thought I really had a good chance.
"When I was driving I was thinking the tyres weren't so bad. I don't understand why they worked so well for us today.
"It was a strange feeling, I just wish you could experience what the tyres feel like. The front tyres had a good balance and were not a problem.
"And now, I'm not going to be relaxing so much, I shall keep training and I need to come back stronger in the second half of the season. I want to be more focused for the next race."
At long last, Hamilton has arrived in the 2013 season as a serious contender.
His win was his fourth victory in Hungary, bringing him level with seven-time champion Michael Schumacher at the top of the lists. Hamilton triumphed in 2007, 2009 and 2012
His victory also enabled him to join the legendary Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio as one of only two men to have won least one Grand Prix in each of their first seven seasons.
For the time being, his mind is focussed on his racing.
Despite the pain of his recent break-up with long-term girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger, he said he was working with a clear mind.
"I am very clear-headed and I am not distracted," he said. "I am focussed on the race and my job, my team and my work."