Hamilton: Sixth F1 championship "beyond surreal"

Lewis Hamilton says he does not know how to feel after guaranteeing his sixth Formula 1 title in the United States Grand Prix, an achievement he called “beyond surreal”.

Hamilton almost earned an unlikely win at the Circuit of the Americas but a late pass for victory by Valtteri Bottas was not enough to delay Hamilton clinching the championship.

A sixth title moves Hamilton into second place outright in the all-time list of F1 champions, one clear of Juan Manuel Fangio and behind only seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, as well as reinforcing his status as one of Britain’s greatest-ever sportspeople.

Asked if that is something he is able to comprehend, Hamilton said: “Honestly no. And I don’t know why. I really don’t know why.

“How am I supposed to feel, you know? I remember watching this sport when I was younger, waking up, come downstairs, my stepmum, Linda, who’s here today, she would make me a bacon sandwich and me and my dad would sit there together and watch the grands prix.

“It’s odd to watch it and see someone in the TV set and now to be the person that’s in the TV set, and be doing something like the great that I saw in Ayrton [Senna] and the great that I saw in Michael.

“It’s beyond surreal to think that this journey, my life journey, has brought me to this point in winning a sixth title. But I don’t really know how I’m supposed to feel right now.”

For PRIME users:

Hamilton’s parents Anthony and Carmen, and their spouses, were all in attendance in the US for the Briton’s championship victory.

He said it was a special occasion for all four of them to be present at the race.

“I don’t believe in the whole cloud nine thing [but] I’m flying super high right now,” said Hamilton.

“I’ve got my family with me. I don’t remember the last time my stepdad and my stepmum, my dad and my mum…I don’t think I’ve had them at a world championship [winning] grand prix before.

“So, to experience that and share that with them, people who have been at the core of who I am and sacrificed everything they had for me to have the life that I have today, I was really proud to see them all smiling and share it with them.”

Hamilton’s fifth title in six seasons with Mercedes comes with two races still to run in 2019, and he said his focus now would be to the upcoming races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.  

He admitted that he did not usually get to reflect on his successes until after the season, when “you can just take a load off and just sit back and have a beer”.

“I will be with my dogs, with my feet up and only then you can have a moment to grasp how great a year it has been,” he said.

shares
comments
Alfa Romeo retains Giovinazzi for 2020 F1 season

Previous article

Alfa Romeo retains Giovinazzi for 2020 F1 season

Next article

Floor damage hurt Verstappen's Austin win bid

Floor damage hurt Verstappen's Austin win bid
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021