Lewis Hamilton won a record-equalling seventh F1 world title after a thrilling victory at the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday and vowed to add to his tally next season and eclipse Michael Schumacher’s record outright.
The 35-year-old gave a superb display at a very wet and slippery Istanbul Park, coming from way back to deliver a masterful display, taking a risk by staying out on his worn immediate tyres but ploughing through the pack to take the win.
Hamilton was visibly emotional after his victory, hugging and high-fiving his Mercedes team, while he was quickly congratulated by Sebastian Vettel, who finished third place himself.
The Brit’s win in Turkey secured his seventh F1 title – and fourth straight – putting him level with Schumacher, though he warned his rivals that he is ‘just getting started’ and he hopes to claim many more victories.
Reacting to equalling the record, Hamilton said: ‘I know often we say, or I say, it’s beyond my wildest dreams. But I think my whole life, secretly, I have dreamt as high as this. But it felt so farfetched.
‘I remember watching Michael winning those championships and all of us here, us drivers, are always doing the best job we can just to get one or two or even three… it’s so hard to get. So seven is just unimaginable.
‘But when you work with such a great group of people, and you really communicate and trust one another and listen to one another, there’s just no end to what we can do together me and the team.
‘I’m so proud of the work that we’ve done. Them trusting me out there today, that comes with experience. What a day, a lot to take in.’
On whether he has an eighth F1 title victory in his sights, Hamilton continued: ‘Well I mean, I feel like I’m only just getting started – it’s really weird.
‘I feel physically in great shape and mentally this year. I know for so many people out there this year has been the hardest year probably for millions of people – and I know things always look great on here, on the big stage, but it’s no different for us athletes.
‘This has been a challenge that I didn’t know how to get through, but with the help of great people around me, my team, with the help of Team LH, I managed to just keep my head above water and stay focused.
‘So I’m really hopeful for a better year next year and I would love to stay. I feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do here.
‘We’ve only just begun our work, to hold ourselves accountable as a sport to realise that we’ve got face, and not ignore, the human rights issues that are around the countries that we go to and how can we engage with those countries and help them and empower them to really change. Not 10 years from now, not 20 years from now, but now.
‘I want to help Formula 1 and Mercedes in that journey. And also particularly moving more sustainable. As a sport, the whole thing, we need to be more sustainable and I want to be part of that for a little bit longer.’
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