Lewis Hamilton drove his heart out every single weekend to conquer German efficiency in the race to the Formula One Word Drivers’ Championship.
The 29-year-old Brit claimed his second world title in style in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, making a mockery of the controversial double points rule by blowing championship rival and teammate Nico Rosberg away in the opening seconds to effectively settle the 2014 season.
In the process, Hamilton steered the indomitable Mercedes brand to its first title in almost 60 years, and he is now eying the record of Juan Manuel Fangio, the last man to win motorsport’s greatest prize for the German juggernauts.
Two-time champion Hamilton admits he wants more titles and revealed he is “definitely not finished” on his quest for success.
At a championship press conference held at the Westin Hotel yesterday, the new world champion admits he now has the car to pursue more titles.
“I drove my heart out every race and maximised the time that I had on the track,” the Briton said when asked to pinpoint why he beat Rosberg to the title.
“From when I arrived on the weekend, the preparation I did, the work the engineers did on the car was just exceptional.
"That year’s experience I had with them last year made a massive difference this year.”
Hamilton achieved a lifelong dream by winning his maiden F1 title in 2008, but he said the second one means more.
“The first one was exceptional but I don’t know if I was in that place to absorb and embrace it in the way that I am today,” he said.
“The second came many years after the first, so this feels like the first.
"I guess just being in a different stage in my life, maybe it feels sweeter being a bit older.
"It’s a very special and humbling experience.”
While Mercdes’ last F1 champion Fangio sits on five titles, with Michael Schumacher at the very top with seven, Hamilton’s next target is joining the ranks of legends such as Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham and Nelson Piquet who have three.
Hamilton said: “I hope there’s more of those. Of course, I’m going to push as hard as I can.
"I’m still young, I’ve still got a lot to learn and a lot to improve on.
“I’m definitely not finished and I’m going to come back strong (next year).”
With Mercedes winning 16 of the 19 races this year as well as the constructors’ championship by a record 296 points, many are predicting a period of dominance similar to Red Bull, who won the last four championships.
Hamilton is in a very different position to when he first won the title in 2008 as he now has a car that is capable of steering him to more glory.
He said: “That’s naturally the dream, to go into next season, compete again, learn from this season and get stronger if possible.
"That’s the goal. I have confidence in the team that we will come very strong next year.
"In 2009 the car was a lot different. Lot of changes. Different times.
"I truly believe with Petronas working hard to improve our engine, we’ll continue to push.”
Hamilton said the challenge of his German team-mate Rosberg, right up until the season showdown, had benefitted him, adding that their competitive rivalry was healthy rather than turbulent.
“It’s normal for a fierce battle throughout the year,” he said.
“There’s always tension, but between the drivers and the team I think we handled it better than anyone else could have.
“Nico was always right on the edge, right until the last race, which is what you want from a competitor.
“There’ll be a lot of learning done from both me and Nico on how to handle things and I’m sure we’ll both come back (next season) and handle it better.”