“He always used to visit home for Christmas. It was such a big thing to get Lewis and my mother together, on this Christmas day, because it’s a holiday. He sat by my mum’s side in her home, and it was like he was her son, my nephew. We were both very proud to be his guests. The woman spoke of his impact on her life, and it’s the same to me. On the social media, he told us how thankful he was for the support and kindness that we both showed him through difficult times.
“To see him [make his grand final-start after health problems], he was literally screaming, he just wanted to finish. And he did finish, and I heard her say ‘You did well’. As a proud brother, it was wonderful for me to see his determination, his ability to fight back, and to go back on the grid in the end – it was a very emotional thing for him and for us. He wasn’t the same person as he was before he came into racing – he is a completely different person.
“To get to see that, to see the transformation, is quite wonderful. We knew the difference he had made. And we had seen it in the car, seeing him out there, and seeing him running good laps – he had never sat on the back of the pit wall or away from the team. He made that same improvement, which was very happy to see. He still had his funny streak, and that’s a good thing. We still have that energy and what he used to do is the same thing that we do, although we change in ways that are different. It all comes from the same person.
“On the day, we were very proud to know how much he meant to his supporters. I remember the opening race in Spain, even if we only won the race, his brothers, cousins, friends, everyone went ‘Fantastic for Hamilton, fantastic for Lewis.’ People say we’re selfish in racing. I say to them: ‘Don’t forget about Lewis.’ So he’s still a part of the team. I’m sure he’s not far away, he still hangs around and walks around the place.
“He’s a very nice guy, and he always has been. He’s a good character, he’s always respectful. He never hurts, he never causes any damage, he never complains and he always loves his team-mates. He loves the people that are around him, and with that comes respect. He’s a great, great guy.”