Lewis Hamilton said he was "tearing up" on his way to winning the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday.
The Mercedes driver had to fight for his fifth win of the year after a bad start left him third and later rain threatened his position at the front.
He said: "It's a very proud moment. To see a sea of British fans with all the flags and caps is a huge day for me.
"I can't find the words to say how special it is. Hopefully you can see it in my smile."
It was Hamilton's third victory at Silverstone, to follow previous wins in 2008, when he was driving for McLaren, and last year.
Hamilton started from pole position ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg, but they both ended up behind the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas after making bad starts.
Hamilton said: "The race was very tough. It was a very bad start for both of us but if I'm honest it made it more exciting."
Hamilton moved ahead of the Williams cars at his first pit stop and then had an agonising call to make on the timing of another pit stop for wet tyres, when rain started to fall in the last quarter of the race.
The final pit stop was Hamilton's own call but he still had to negotiate a treacherous last nine laps in wet conditions.
"For I think the first time in my career I made the perfectly right choice on the rain and coming in," he said. "I could see the rain coming more and I've never had that before so I feel extremely happy about that.
"After that, as I was going around Turn Seven (Luffield) and the last corner I could see the crowd just cheering me on every time I came by and just spurring me along. I didn't want to drop it for them.
"I'm really honoured just to be here representing the Brits, to have the British flag up there."
The two-time world champion made the call at exactly the right time and held on to win the 38th race of his career, putting him two behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in fifth place in the all-time race winners' list.
On the podium he thanked the capacity 140,000 crowd for their support.
"Thank you, guys, for coming out today and making my whole weekend," he said.
"I'm so elated. You can't imagine how happy I am. I was tearing up on the last lap, just really hoping I could hold onto it for you guys and, man, I felt you all the way."
|British GP reaction|
|'F1 needed Silverstone thrills'||Hamilton battles to British GP win|
|Gossip: Button's last Silverstone?||Standings after British GP|