Date: 14th November 2011 at 10:02am
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A happy Lewis Hamilton left Abu Dhabi this weekend following the McLaren driver winning his third race of the season.

The 2008 Formula One World Champion has had a difficult year and despite his latest victory getting him back on level terms with team-mate Jenson Button for race wins this season, Button’s third place finish means he will be beaten by his team-mate in the driver standings for the first time in his Formula One career.

But in truth, that was far from the Brits mind as a perfect drive was rewarded with the victory.

?This result is just fantastic. I?m usually my own biggest critic – I?m always hard on myself when I make mistakes – but I really felt like I maximised everything today. To be able to sustain that kind of pace, under constant pressure, and not make mistakes, is really satisfying.’ Hamilton told formula1.com after the race.

‘For most of the race I was concentrating on managing the gap to Fernando [Alonso]. He?s such a strong driver. He?ll never give you an inch, in fact. Into the closing laps I found myself beginning to think about victory, but I didn?t want to do that really so I kept saying to myself: ?Don?t even go there!?. It worked: I stopped my mind from wandering and I didn?t allow myself to think about the win until I?d crossed the line.

‘To have Jenson on the podium alongside me was great – great for me, great for him, great for the team, and a great boost as we move towards the end of the season. The team has been fantastic all weekend – the strategy, the pitstops, everything – really top-class. The whole package came together today and I owe everyone a big thank-you. This is so uplifting – for the team and for me. To be able to walk away with a smile feels just fantastic: victory is good for the soul.?


Hamilton’s 25 points for winning the race lifted him up to 227 points, just 6 points behind Red Bull driver Mark Webber in fourth place in the standings.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso is 18 points ahead in third place.