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Lewis Hamilton says his hunger for success is undimmed after securing his sixth Formula 1 drivers’ title.
The 34-year-old has celebrated his Mercedes team’s record-breaking sixth consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship double at their UK bases.
Hamilton said he was “living my dream” and that he “never in a million years thought I’d get to six”.
“We must keep pushing because I know we have more to do – more championships to win, more races to win,” he said.
“I grew up watching Formula 1 and I always wanted to do something like Ayrton [Senna]. If I could get to F1, that’d be great; if I could get three titles, that’d be incredible. And now we’ve doubled that – it’s truly unbelievable.”
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Hamilton has two more races to go before the end of the season and he said after clinching the title at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, on Sunday that he was determined to do as well as possible in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, with a particular focus on qualifying, which he has said is the one area he is less than satisfied with this year.
“In my mind, I’m just too competitive,” he said in Austin. “So I’m thinking: ‘OK, we’ve got two more races to go, how am I going to do a better job, how am I going to improve in qualifying? There’s two more qualifyings to try and get pole, how am I going to see if I can potentially pull out a lap like I did in Singapore last year? How am I going to work it that I can be at the front of both of those?’
“I’m always just looking to improve and I really love being in this sport. I’m so grateful to this sport for giving me a life and giving my life purpose.”
At the celebration event, held at the Mercedes engine base in Brixworth and then the F1 car headquarters in Brackley, both in Northamptonshire, Hamilton thanked the Mercedes team “for continuing to push every year”.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, now the most successful F1 team principal in history in terms of winning consecutive championships, added: “I remember our first management off-site meeting in 2013 where we put our objectives on the wall – it was the first time we wrote down ‘We want to fight for a championship’.
“But (then engineering director) Aldo Costa said that we should be more ambitious and make it plural – championships.
“My first thought was that that’s too far-fetched. But we ended up putting it on the wall. And here we are, almost seven years later, having won six double championships. I still pinch myself sometimes because I can’t quite believe it.”
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