After a masterful display at the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton has won a seventh championship to become the most successful and greatest racing driver .
He only had to finish ahead of his nearest rival, team-mate Valtteri Bottas, to clinch the title at Istanbul Park, but like the champion he is, Hamilton made light of only being sixth fastest in qualifying and the treacherous wet and slippery conditions and won the race comfortably. He even lapped Bottas.
As the 35-year-old Briton received the congratulations of his team, Hamilton was almost overcome with emotion in the car after the race, saying: “To all the kids out there, dream the impossible.”
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 15, 2020
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 15, 2020
Hamilton has now equalled the seven titles won by Michael Schumacher. He has also won more Formula One races than anyone in history and has secured the most pole positions, the most podium finishes, the highest points finishes, the highest number of career points and the highest total of points in a season.
— Monster Energy (@MonsterEnergy) November 15, 2020
Hamilton, who does not have a contract for next season, eluded to his future in a statement provided by Daimler:
“I know often we, or I say, it’s beyond my wildest dreams, but I think my whole life I secretly have dreamt as high as this.
“But it always felt so farfetched. I remember Michael winning those championships, and all of us drivers here are doing the best job we can, and just to get one, two or three is so hard to get.
“So, to get seven, is just unimaginable. But when you work with such a great group of people, and you communicate, and trust one another and listen to one another, there is just no end to what we can do together, this team and I together.
“And I’m so proud of what we’ve done. And them trusting me out there today like they did, that comes with experience.
“This year has been so tough… I haven’t gone out, I haven’t gone for dinner, I’ve just stayed in my bubble. Getting room service every day, and not really anything exciting and that’s naturally because I‘ve got a championship to fight for. I think this year I’ve sacrificed more than ever before in my whole life.
“That’s made it quite difficult. Making memories like this, I want to wait until I can be around my family, be around all my friends, because I want to share it with them. I feel so proud of this race today.
“I was thinking about moments when it went wrong before, like China 2007 when I lost the championship on worn tyres in the pit lane.
“All these things I’ve learned along the way, I was able to apply today, and that’s why you saw the result and the gap you did today. At the same time, I feel like I’m only just getting started, it’s really weird.
“I feel physically in great shape, and mentally this year has been the hardest year for many people, for millions of people. I know things always look great on here, on the big stage, but it’s no different for us athletes.
“And it has been a challenge I didn’t know how to get through. But with the help of great people round me, with the help of my team, Team LH, I managed to keep my head above water and focused.
“I’m hopeful for a better year next year. And I’d love to stay, I feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do here.
“I am working to push to hold ourselves accountable as a sport, to realise we’ve got to face and not ignore the human rights issues that are around in the countries that we go to, and how can we engage with those countries, and how can we empower them to really change, not 10 or 20 years from now, but now.
“And I want to help Formula One, I want to help Mercedes in that journey to become more sustainable. I hope to be a part of that, at least the initial phase, for a little bit longer.”
Hamilton won his first Formula One world title with McLaren in 2008 with further successes with Mercedes in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.