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Lewis Hamilton press conference

NEWS STORY
29/10/2018

Lewis Hamilton meets the media after securing his fifth Formula One World Championship title.

Q: (Henry Bonilla - F1Latam.com) Lewis, once again, here in Mexico, in Latin America. What are you feeling?
LH: Right now, it just doesn't feel real. I feel like I'm going to wake up in a matter of moments. It's been such a difficult year and such a great battle but a lot of work, like a lot of word and to try and raise the bar this year has been such a huge challenge and naturally... you know I've trained myself this year, I prepare myself mentally, don't believe in mind coaches and all those kind of things and so, I really work hard to make sure I've got the right energy, the right balance in my life and this year, working on all these different aspects to enable myself to perform better. I think I had a great year last year and I was thinking to myself how can I raise the bar, how can I squeeze some more out of myself? And honestly, you never know what the formula is and there is no secret formula but somehow I managed to find that balance and that flow and I've had some of my best races of my career and I think that's ultimately why I'm sitting here. But it doesn't even register at the moment, being number five. Just getting my first was amazing and the third was incredible. People are mentioning Fangio so I think right it's just kind of... it's very very humbling as well because I'm conflicted emotionally, right now, because I've had this tough race which I wanted to win, got a great start and then it went from good to bad but we still finished fourth. It's not a bad finish and ultimately it's what we needed but in my mind, we've still got a team championship to win and today we lost some points to Ferrari and I really want to deliver for the team, so I've still got two races to win.

Q: (Fernando Alonso - Motorlat) The question...
LH: Your name is Fernando Alonso.

Q: (Fernando Alonso - Motorlat) Yeah. A little longer but I shortened it.
LH: I never thought Fernando would be asking me questions!

Q: (Fernando Alonso - Motorlat) A pleasure for myself.
LH: Can you drive?

Q: (Fernando Alonso - Motorlat) Not that fast but I think I can drive. I have been in conference in Valencia in the test and you said you played many games and you are training like you said before, but you delivered this like one of your best years in formula One. What do you think is your best skill that you have developed this year?
LH: Honestly, it was all round. I've obviously had the ability since I was very young. Since I've been in Formula One I've had the ability to drive like I do today but naturally I think every year you are always trying to raise the bar and when I say raise the bar, you're trying to work on all areas, how you prepared, how you get yourself in the right mindset, how you deliver in the car with your feel. How you learn to balance the car and risk versus reward. How you communicate with the guys who you work closely with, to extract the best from them. All those areas are so important, even things like... I've got certain people who work very closely to me, I've got make sure I keep... how do I keep their spirits up, how do I keep them driven? If they seem me at a weekend and they know that I'm here to win - which, you know, sometimes you can arrive in a bad head space, we're only human - but if you can try and focus on doing that each weekend it can really make a big difference to your weekend, so there are so many areas and I think for me, just being... the most personally in the car, I've been the most centred this year, been the healthiest I've ever been and I've had more energy than I've ever had. Part of that, I'm sure, is being on a vegan diet. It's been fantastic and I'm so happy that I went that way. I wish I went there a long long time ago.

Q: (Scott Mitchell - Autosport) Lewis, there have been lots of time this year when Ferrari and Seb probably had the faster package overall. You've won a lot of races but arguably they may be should have. The battle was so to and fro for the first half of the year. The fact that you've wrapped it up comprehensively with two races to go, how much of a surprise is that and how does that feel?
LH: Yeah, absolutely. Through the year there were a lot of testing times for us. Even on weekends where we didn't have the package and we were on the back foot but then came away with that belief within the team, still, that we could come away with something good, we'd come away with wins, even though we weren't the quickest. It took some special laps, it took some special moments in the car and I honestly could just re-live those moments all the time. Some of those experiences I had in the car were really magical. I truly believed that we could win this championship but it has been the toughest battle that we've had collectively as a team. So much work has gone on in the background. These guys in the garage have just been flawless every single weekend, with our pit stops, with our decision-making in the background, strategy and set-up. That's been key to... ultimately, for me, I feel like I can drive anything and I feel I can take the car to places that nobody else can. But to do that, you have to get the car in the right place and so that means ultimately you've got to work with the team, to help unleash what's great within them so that you can unleash the greatness in yourself.

Q: (Ben Hunt - The Sun) Could you identify a turning point, perhaps, this season, whether it was the German Grand Prix and winning that, and following it up with that qualifying lap in Budapest? Was it round that sort of time?
LH: What was before Hockenheim? Silverstone? Before that? Austria. France was good. There have been so many races that I don't remember them all. I think naturally at the beginning of the year, we started out great in the first race and then we had that fall back and then we had some testing races after that. Then we had that DNF when I think we were leading the Grand Prix or at least one-two or whatever it was in Austria and then we the difficult collision at Silverstone but came back. I think when I came back at Silverstone, firstly being on your home circuit is always something so special and when you see that crowd that really lifts you up, they just... Ever since my first Grand Prix there but most importantly, the second one, 2008, I could see the guys in the grandstand. That's probably the first time I started noticing people standing up and cheering me on. And that has never faded, all these years being going to the British Grand Prix. So coming back from last to second, for me, in my mind, was like OK, I think that might have been quite a confidence boost, but then of course we went on to some great races after that. Budapest, obviously, going into the break, it's great going into the break with a win, particularly when we knew that we weren't quickest at that point of the season. And we knew that that was more a confidence blow to the other team. And then Hockenheim, Monza... I think we just went from strength to strength after that and we just kept taking a step up. But look, we're still here in Mexico and it was a tough race for us today and the Ferraris were quickest than us again. I think undenyingly, we've been very very close on performance through the year and I think it's still arguable whether or not we've had the perfect package but I think, as a team, we've operated better than any other.

Q: (Rebecca Clancy - The Times) What are your plans now, how will you celebrate, what happens between here and Brazil?
LH: You know it's going to sound really boring - which it is, probably - because I just feel very content right now. I just feel very happy. Jeez, I'm looking forward to going to sleep, honestly, but I'm really trying to cherish this moment because I know this moment will only last for a period of time and then you're moving on to the next thing. Time is just so precious, this is a precious moment for me so I'm just to absorb it and really cherish it. I still have work to do. I've still got to get back to the factory and rally the troops next week to figure out how we can come back and win these next races. I have no idea why I struggled so much in these last two and we all feel the pain of not winning those races and we still have the Constructors championship to win, which I know will mean even more to all the guys back at the factory. So that's the focus. But right now, I think tonight, I'll leave this beautiful country, Mexico and Mexico City has always been good to me and the people here... the food has been great, the hospitality has been exceptional so I always enjoy my time here and looking forward to coming back. I'm probably going to come back some time in January to train and surf and enjoy myself but until then, I think... I'm looking forward to seeing my dogs, I'm going to go and see my dogs tonight, the unconditional love of a pet is something quite special. I think I've got a lot of friends around me so I'm sure we'll come together and really try to embrace the moment but yeah, as I've said, I've still got races I want to win so a little bit conflicted.

Q: (Phil Duncan - PA) There are lots of people, who now you've got your fifth title will say you're the greatest of all time or you're up there, given that you've won so many races, so many poles, five championships. You've never resorted to any dirty tactics. Do you think you're Formula One's GOAT (greatest of all time)?
LH: No, I think, honestly I would prefer that term but I do when I look at other people that I admire who are doing great in whatever field they're working in. Right now, I've still got things to achieve, there are so many targets, so many things ahead. Now I can tick off, I can strike out one of the things that I put on my list of the year. It's always at the top: win the World title, do everything for that. I think it's impossible to say whether or not... firstly I could never ever personally classify myself as the best. Obviously, within myself, I know of my abilities and where I stand but ultimately... My Dad always told me, since I was eight years old, he said 'do your talking on the track.' So I just try to let my results and the results from the things that I do outside of my sport, hopefully, also contribute to that, so that people can hopefully create a decent opinion. But there's still Michael's... Michael's still quite far ahead in race wins so you can have to say he is still the GOAT. Fangio, I think, is the godfather and always will be, from a driver's perspective. To do what he did at that time when everything was so dangerous... my respect is so high for him. I feel very honoured to have my name alongside his, that's for sure and naturally just every proud to have the Hamilton name up there. If I stopped today, the Hamilton name will always be there. If you could see how tough it was for us from the beginning and even this year, you know, there's still fighting with those obstacles and still coming stronger and stronger each year. I feel like I'm still driving with that fierce fire that I had when I was eight years old which I love. So I'll keep going until that goes, which I don't think it's ever going to go but I will just... my bodyclock will run out at some stage.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Mexico City, here.

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