Lewis Hamilton has detailed the main concern that went through his mind following his collision with Max Verstappen at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The former title rivals went head-to-head on Lap 7 when the race was restarted following a Safety Car period. There was contact between them, and both slipped backwards in the order.
Hamilton was able to recover positions and eventually finished the Grand Prix in second place, marking a Mercedes 1-2 finish with teammate George Russell claiming his debut F1 victory.
Verstappen fell further back in the field, and received a five-second time penalty from the stewards after being deemed to have caused the collision with Hamilton.
The Dutchman eventually finished in sixth, having disobeyed a team order to let fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez by on the final lap.
Hamilton reflects on Verstappen incident
Reflecting on the incident after the race, Hamilton admitted that he had feared he may have to retire and as such ruin Mercedes' hopes of achieving a 1-2 result.
"I don't really have much of an opinion about it, to be honest," Hamilton told media when asked for his take on the collision.
"For me, all I thought in that moment was that I thought the car would have to retire. Because I felt something, the rear wasn't feeling the same after that.
"And for me, it was like, I was going to lose the team the 1-2, and so that's all I could think of.
"So I was driving over across the grass, back onto the track and all I could think of was how can I get back to giving the team that incredible result.
"So, for me, it's kind of, again, not how you fall, it’s how you get back up, and I'm proud of the job we've all done and huge congratulations to George."
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Brazil result 'important' for Mercedes ahead of winter
The 2022 campaign has been a challenging one at times for Mercedes, and their success in Brazil marks the team's first win of the season.
As such, Hamilton feels that securing the 1-2 result was crucial as the Brackley-based squad prepare for 2023.
"It is the most important thing for us to have this result," the seven-time World Champion said.
"This is a massive boost to the whole team's morale. Going into the winter, the team know that we're on the right track, and we are still the best team.
"We will get back to having this more consistent, I think, next year, and I'm excited for that battle."
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