Lewis Hamilton has admitted that clinching his third World Championship to match his idol Ayrton Senna has not yet sunk in after his victory at the Circuit of the Americas last weekend.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver expressed his gratitude to his team for providing him with the car to be able to become the first Briton to ever retain the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship.
“Sunday in Austin is all a bit of a blur,” reflected Hamilton. “The race was so, so crazy and it wasn’t until a few moments after I crossed the line that I realised that I’d done it! To be honest, it still hasn’t quite settled in.
“To match Ayrton in winning three titles was always a big ambition of mine and it just doesn’t feel real. I can’t express how grateful I am to everyone who made it possible – from my family to the team at the track and everyone back at the factories. I couldn’t have done this without each and every one of them.”
Hamilton is ready now for the challenge of this weekends Mexican Grand Prix, and is looking forward to experiencing both the city and the circuit for the first time, and believes the Mexican fans will make the atmosphere fantastic.
“Now, I’m even more pumped to get to Mexico,” admitted Hamilton. “For many of us in the paddock – including the drivers – it’s a new Grand Prix venue, and experiencing a new city and a new track is always exciting.
“Formula One has been racing in South America at the Brazilian Grand Prix throughout my career and the atmosphere there is just insane – plus we see thousands of Mexican fans every year in Austin. If they’re anything to go by the crowds will be fantastic, so I’m really looking forward to seeing them all out there making plenty of noise.”
With the championship confirmed, Hamilton feels relaxed and ready to fight for victory in the remaining three races, and hopes to become the first victor of a Mexican Grand Prix since Nigel Mansell back in 1992.
“I can attack the final three races now with nothing to prove and nothing to lose, so the aim is absolutely to put my name down as the first Mexican Grand Prix winner of the modern era,” said Hamilton.
“After the Ushanka style hats we had on the podium in Russia and the Stetsons in America, I’m definitely hoping for a massive sombrero if I make it onto the podium!”