Lewis Hamilton is hungry for more F1 success after admitting he has driven his heart out this year in pursuit of his second world crown.
Hamilton sealed the 2014 in style in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, making good use of the controversial double points on offer by blowing championship rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg away in the opening seconds of the race.
Hamilton steered Mercedes to its first title in almost 60 years in the process, and is now eyeing Juan Manuel Fangio’s haul of five world championships.
When asked how he beat Rosberg to the title, Hamilton said: “I drove my heart out every race and maximised the time that I had on the track,”
“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.”
Hamilton achieved a lifelong dream by winning his maiden F1 title in 2008, but he said the second title is more significant than the first.
“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 added.
“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.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 23, 2014
While Mercedes’ last F1 champion Fangio sits on five titles, with Michael Schumacher at the 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 all have three.
“I hope there are more of those. 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.”
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 that of Red Bull.
Hamilton, though, is in a very different position to when he first won the title in 2008 with McLaren as he believes he now has a car that is capable of steering him to more glory.
“That’s naturally the dream, to go into next season, compete again, learn from this season and get stronger if possible,” he continued.
“I have confidence in the team that we will come very strong next year. In 2009 the car was a lot different. I truly believe with Petronas working hard to improve our engine, we’ll continue to push.”
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