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Lewis Hamilton press conference

NEWS STORY
30/10/2017

Lewis, many congratulations. This is number four, just give us some of your emotions. What does it mean to you?

LH: Well, firstly, everyone, thank you so much for the warm welcome. It's been a long journey with all you guys, these past ten years. For the all the stories, positive or negative I appreciate all the support from all of you. Yeah, it's very difficult to come from a race, one which you, firstly, have not won, which was your target - but I feel still great - but then to be surrounded by so many people. Obviously there's a lot of emotions. I would love to start by thanking my team. Mercedes signed me when I was 13, alongside McLaren and obviously I had exceptional years with McLaren. Very, very special time there, and will always have a special place in my heart. Meeting Ron when I was 10, telling him that one day I wanted to be a world champion in his car, and him giving me that opportunity, wherever he is today I hope he knows how grateful I am for that. And then moving to this team which was obviously such a... people through it was a big risk, and gamble, but I had every belief in my heart, one hundred percent belief in my heart, that it was the right thing to do. Even if in the beginning it may have been difficult, I knew at some stage we would have this kind of success. It's really weird how I had that. And then just to see the team grow. It's trickled down from the top, with great bosses, great board members who support the team one hundred per cent. So to everyone back in Stuttgart, a big, big thank you. The guys back at Brackley and Brixworth, those guys. I mean, when you go there and see what's happening, see all these great creative minds working day and night to do something firstly, that they love, that they've worked for years, obviously going through school and university, and then to see this beautiful piece of art come together in December and January, and I'm one of two people that get to go out and test drive it, it's the greatest feeling in the world. I think the FIA and Formula One did such a great job this year with this car. Whilst it's difficult to overtake, it's still an awesome car to drive. Formula One cars should be faster than anything out there. And yeah, this week I've just been reminiscing a lot about where I came from, y'know? Growing up in Stevenage, dreaming of one day being in Formula One. And where I am now is way beyond my imagination. I think dream big is definitely something we should all do - but to be four-time world champion... four definitely feels a lot better than three, and four is my number, obviously, so yeah. And I've got such great support all around the world and I want to say a big thank you to all the fans. A lot of fans here in Mexico, some Brits, some Mexicans. I love coming out to Mexico, so to do this on Mexican soil, particularly to shine this kind of positive light on the country, since it's going through a very difficult time over the past months. I hope this shines some positivity on everyone. Through the race I was just thinking to myself, 'Still I Rise, just don't give up'. To never give up. I was going back to when my Dad put me in the boxing ring when I was young and this kid beat the crap out of me. My nose was bleeding and I didn't want to go back in, and it felt very, very similar to Turn Three today. I got the puncture. Could have easily resorted to giving up, making mistakes, but I felt, I remembered that moment and I was like 'I'm not going to give up, I'm going to keep pushing, even if I'm 40 seconds behind, I'm still going to give it everything, so that when I cross the line I can be proud of myself.' And I definitely am.

(Ysef Harding - Xiro Xone News) Lewis, one of our great American sports journalists Howard Cosell always told Muhammad Ali how much he respected him inside and outside the ring, the history that he was making, and I'd like to say that to you. I appreciate being in this business and it's a joy watching you do what you do on track and making the history that you'd made to this generation. Now to my question. Has this come full circle for you, given how you've come up, the history that you've made, being that you've had to struggle through what your family have gone through, has it bought it full circle winning your fourth world championship.
LH: Definitely. In life, in the heat of the moment, when you're going through difficult times, or even good times, you wonder how much further to push. Do you stop, do you turn around, do you turn left or right and go a different direction? I think it's just that when you eventually get there you realise it was all worth it. The way I've prepared this year, contrary to what people may think, training on your own, no-one can train on their own, that's what people would say, travelling around the world the way I do, all these different things, but just doing it your own way and finding your own way I think, it's a day like today, when you win a championship, in front of so many people, it just solidifies your belief in yourself and your families belief in you, and what they stand for. So, I'm proud of all my family and it's crazy to think that I'm continuing to stamp the Hamilton name in the history books. Beyond my time there will be kids that will know the name and that's probably what I'm most proud of. My Dad did... I can't even tell you what my Dad did to help me get where I am today. No matter how many wins I get, no matter how successful I am, I can never pay that back, but I just try and grab it with both hands, the opportunity that they've provided me and know also that there's a lot of kids, a lot of people around the world, that are watching me, whether it's for inspiration or for guidance, and so I'm trying to be the brightest light I can to shine that in their direction.

(Graham Harris - Motorsport Monday) Lewis Hamilton, four times world champion, congratulations. You said four's your magic number. Does that mean there's not a number five?
LH: Actually 44's my magic number but I'd be here a long time to get 44 championships! Four is a part of it. I like four. Jeez... I wonder what the people at my school are thinking, when I was growing up, there's a couple of teachers that said "you're never going to amount to anything," so I wonder what they're thinking now when they watch me today? For sure, they're probably watching. Or at least they'll read the news tomorrow. I wonder what they're thinking? I wonder if they're thinking 'I helped that young lad,' or are they thinking 'you know what, I regret what I said and I've grown from it.' I hope that's really the case. I hope they've grown though it. I hope that whoever's kids they are teaching today, they're encouraging them, rather than pulling them down. But yeah, four is a great number. I want number five now. I'm going to stick with four, enjoy number four but I think, y'know, you just take one step at a time. It's really about embracing, firstly what you love, the people that you work with, your family. It's really about not listening to people who try to tell you what to do. It's about you finding your centre and your core. Because we're all different and we're all unique in our own way, we're all bright stars. There's no-one in this room that's not a star. If you feel that the person next to you is a brighter star, it doesn't mean you can't be as bright as them. If anything, you should use that as inspiration, to shine even brighter. I hope my winning the fourth time, world champion from Stevenage, I hope that's a testimony to show that you really can do something from nowhere. I hope one day I'm able to help find the next me because he's somewhere out there.

(Phil Duncan - PA) Congratulations Lewis, well done. Just going back to the race, you said on the team radio, or you asked on the team radio whether Sebastian had deliberately crashed into you. Do you think that he did hit you on purpose? Do you think it was a bit of desperation from Seb, and would you like to speak to him about it?
LH: I'm going to take the negativity, swing it back and send you positivity dude. It doesn't even matter what happened. Today Still I Rise was on the top of my mind, and you get knocked down and you get back up and you keep pushing as hard as you can. Dude, I was 40s behind today and I don't know how it looked from outside. It didn't feel great - but I just never gave up, I just kept pushing. I knew that I couldn't win the race, clearly, but I was 'you know what, I'm going to have the best race I can possibly have from wherever I am. It took forever to catch one guy, and then eventually catch them and so hard to get past - but I enjoyed every battle. I tried to use all my skill. Turn One, I didn't give up. You guys are always wondering if I'm going to take the step back and not push, and I think I was balanced with my aggression in Turns One, Two and Three, I don't think I was too aggressive, didn't lock-up, I didn't make any mistakes and that is something I'm really happy with - 'cos naturally under the pressure, I could have done too much or too little. I was, of course, surprised to be hit and yeah, I left a lot of room so to wonder why the dude behind, that I was fighting, touched me, of course it was on top, y'know, we're great drivers, he's a four-time World Champion, it's quite easy not to hit each other - but in the midst of things it can also be quite easy to touch. So, I don't really care and I don't feel like analysing it. I've enjoyed racing against Sebastian and to race against a four time world champion, and even today, to have the battle with Fernando, I was like 'this is one tough mofo'. Back and forth, back and forth, I'm like... Formula One, just wait 'til this guy gets a good engine, because the car was great through other sections, and I really hope for McLaren, who I've already told you has a special place in my heart, I really hope next year is a better year for them. I hope they have a stronger engine a stronger car, and Fernando's a tough bugger - a tough cookie, I prefer that word - and I enjoyed the little battle I had with him and I hope we get to have many more like that.

(Rebecca Clancy - The Times) Lewis, congratulations, you're now the most successful British driver ever, you stand alone on four championships, is that something you're able to get your head around? What does that mean to you?
LH: I think at the moment it's too far out of reach. It's like I'm in space. It just really doesn't... it's not registering at the moment. That often happens when you win a championship. Of course there's all the energy from all the people around you and you're riding on Cloud Nine but it's really hard to it's really hard to... it takes a while for it to really, truly sink in. But when I think about everything that's gone on this year, the past two years, and everything that's had to be put in place to produce the results we have today, y'know, I don't sit here... while I'm sitting here on my own, there's over a thousand people who backed me up, who lift me up, who create the machine in which I'm able to exploit my talents, my abilities and for that I'm just so grateful. I wonder how many people in here thought it was the worst move to Mercedes? Of course it's been years already before you've changed your opinion - but isn't it cool. Isn't it cool to see someone take a risk like I did and it to come out the way it has? I'm really, really happy about it and proud of all the people that have helped me achieve it and looking forward to the future.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Mexico, here.

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1. Posted by Trixi, 30/10/2017 17:45

"He's going to take out the 'negativity' about Vettel running into him on purpose (which I am sure he did not); however, he is going to throw shade at Nico? Obviously, Lewis is still bitter over 2016 loss. He just cannot stand that Nico beat him last year. He may have been the WDC for 2017; but he is no sportsman with class; just a thug."

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