Hamilton is competing in his first full season of the BTCC, having driven 12 races back in 2015, and is piloting a Ford Focus RS for ROKiT Racing with Motorbase.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a steady start to his campaign, qualifying in the top 20 at Brands Hatch before going on to record finishes in all three opening rounds at the Kent circuit.
Older brother and five-time F1 champion Lewis took time out of his hectic calendar to cheer on Nicolas at Brands, with the Mercedes driver turning plenty of heads in the BTCC paddock.
When asked if Lewis’ presence gave him confidence before his first race back in the series, Nicolas said: “It probably [caused] a little bit of added pressure because I never want to let him down but it was a super proud moment to have him here with me.
“He’s got such a busy schedule and taking the time out to come see me and the fact that I’m in the top flight and I did a really good job in Race One – I got up to 11th and probably had the best first six laps of my career – so he was super proud and super happy.
“Hopefully he will see more races of mine this year.”
Hamilton was delighted with his qualifying performance on Saturday, with the Brit having never driven his new Ford in wet conditions before.
Foggy conditions and a damp track saw the field split on tyre choice in Sunday’s first race, with the Motorbase ace opting to run on full wets in order to gain more confidence.
This paid off in the opening stages but as the track dried the slick runners scythed through with Josh Cook taking the win from 10th on the grid.
Spins in the following two races put a slight downer on Hamilton’s weekend but he was still able to battle it out with experienced racers such as Mark Blundell and 2017 champion Ash Sutton.
“It was so difficult this weekend,” said Hamilton.
“Coming into it, the weather hasn’t really helped us – four degrees track temperature in practice and greasy conditions then qualifying was wet.
“It was the first ever time I’ve driven the car in the wet and we wanted to get anywhere in the top 20 which we knew would be difficult but we managed to do it in qualifying which was cool.
“We chose the wets [in Race One] as it gave me a little bit more confidence. When it’s greasy and you’re on slicks you need the confidence in the car and you need the experience to be able to hang it out and deal with it.
“We got up to 11th from 20th in the first race but then dropped back – which everybody did on the wets – but we had really good pace.
Hamilton admitted that he struggled to get temperature into his tyres but is confident that is something he can rectify in the future.
“It will just come in time, and I think I’ve got good potential,” he said.
“I hung it in there with the big boys and I think they’ve gained a lot of respect for me which is great.
“We’ve just got to keep building, but it’s been a fantastic first weekend. We weren’t expecting fireworks but the team are impressed and the team are happy and we’ll just keep developing throughout the year.
“It’s my first race weekend, we’ve got another nine and a lot to learn so hopefully if I can continue to work hard this is just one year of many.”