Nurburgring, Germany, July 24, 2011 (AFP) - After weeks of speculation over his future and criticism of his aggressive style, Lewis Hamilton enjoyed delivering an answer to his critics on Sunday when he won the German Grand Prix.
On a cool afternoon that saw rivals Red Bull struggling for pace, the 26-year-old Englisman reeled off the 16th win of his career with a typically-bold, ambitious and speedy performance.
It enabled him to emerge triumphant for McLaren ahead of two-times champion Fernando Alonso and Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull after the trio had interchanged positions in a battle for supremacy.
Hamilton, who pulled off one memorable passing move round the outside of Alonso to regain his lead, said: "Driving lap after lap within tenths of each other was about real perfection. There was no room for error at all.
"And with my aggressive style, I felt the moves I made were some of the most precise I have pulled in a while. Being able to drive with your head all the time and getting it just right is massively satisfying.
"I was in a good space and days like this pay off more than you could imagine."
Hamilton said victory was made all the more special by the pressure he and his McLaren team had faced after a mid-season dip in form.
He said: "Every win is special, but with the emotion, effort and all the energy the team put into the car and the effort they put in, it just couldn't feel better. "Coming into this weekend I said I would take it one race at a time. To win is massively positive for us, but there is a long way to go and it is about getting consistency.
"If I say something now it could be a disaster, as the next race is going to be very, very hard. We are back in the fight though, and I hope we can carry this forward and keep the momentum going."
His team-mate and compatriot Jenson Button was forced to retire with hydraulics problems.
He said: "I had a terrible first lap, I don't know where I ended up, and then I couldn't get past Petrov. Eventually I did, and then I got back past the next two guys. "My pace was good so it was all looking quite exciting. I had a lot of fun out there and then we had a hydraulic issue and I had to retire the car on safety grounds.
"I think in the end, we wouldn't have been in the top three, but fourth was definitely possible. I was enjoying myself out there as well..."