Lewis Hamilton says that claiming his fourth world title in Mexico makes it a very special achievement but it is yet to really sink in as his attention already turns to championship number five.
Hamilton claimed his fourth world championship at the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix by finishing ninth with main title rival Sebastian Vettel failing to score enough points to stop Hamilton from claiming the title with two races to spare.
Hamilton, who started the race third and challenged for the lead in the opening corners, suffered a puncture courtesy of contact with Vettel’s front wing as the Scuderia Ferrari driver struggled for traction on the exit of turn three.
The puncture dropped Hamilton to the back of the field and despite struggling in traffic, Hamilton was able to risk little and claim the title with Vettel unable to achieve the top two position he needed to keep the championship fight alive.
“To be honest, this fourth world title is not even registering right now,” said Hamilton.
“There is all this energy from the people around you, but it takes a while for it to really sink in. I am incredibly grateful when I think about everything that was going on this year and everything that had to be in place to produce this result.
“I didn’t do this on my own, there are over a thousand people back in Brackley and Brixworth who have created this beast that has given me the opportunity to exploit my abilities.”
Hamilton has been vocal about fan support throughout the year and says that to claim the title in Mexico following the tragic earthquake there last month makes this title very special.
“I have received such great support from around the world, and I want to thank all of you that believed in me.
“To do this on Mexican soil, to shine a positive light on a country that has been through such a difficult time over the past few months, makes this really special. It doesn’t matter what happened in the race today.
“I carry ‘Still I Rise’ on the back of my helmet – it means when you get knocked down, you get back up again and keep pushing as hard as you can. I never gave up, and I kept pushing.”
Hamilton’s fourth title draws him level with Sebastian Vettel and a lot of attention will be on the pair in 2018 to see who can make it to five titles first.
“Four is a great number – but I want number five now!” says Hamilton.