'It's pretty impossible to put into words,' said Hamilton. 'It's been such a long journey and I'm so speechless. After all the sacrifices we've made I am so thrilled to be able to do this for everyone. It was one of the toughest races of my life - if not the toughest."
With Ferrari-driver Massa leading his home grand prix Hamilton had to only finish fifth. But as with much of the season the Englishman was never going to make it easy for himself and dropped to sixth with one lap to go. The Ferrari team began celebrating as Massa crossed the line but in a bizarre twist Hamilton overtook Timo Glock’s faltering Toyota, which was still wearing dry tyres despite the falling rain.
'The team didn't say anything so I thought I was shot,' said Hamilton. 'I didn't know where Glock was and Vettel was the guy to beat and I couldn't catch him, so at that point I was going to finish sixth. My heart was in my mouth. When it started to drizzle, I didn't want to take any risks but at the final corner I got past Glock and I couldn't believe it.
'I thought 'do I have it, do I have it?' When they told me, I was ecstatic. It was absolutely fantastic, an amazing achievement on one of the most troubled days. It was such a hard race and I'm ecstatic, very emotional, very thankful for my team and my family and everyone who has supported me.
'I have done enough and we made it. I can forget everything else. I need to rest because my heart is on edge. I want to shout out to all my supporters at home - I love them all.'