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Hamilton eyes Schumacher's seven titles

NEWS STORY
03/06/2019

It wasn't that long ago that it seemed Michael Schumacher's record of seven world championship titles would never be beaten.

However, as Lewis Hamilton appears to have only his teammate standing in the way of a sixth title, the Briton admits that he is eyeing Schumacher's record, and claims to have another five seasons in him.

"Michael retired when he was 38," he tells American TV legend, David Letterman in season two of the Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.

"I'm 33," he adds. "In my mind I can definitely do five years.

"I am ridiculously determined to win," he continues, in a masterpiece of understatement. "What really drives me, and I feel that some of the people I race against may lack, is that fire.

"I've got this opportunity. I could easily let go of it right now but I feel like I would be squandering it if I didn't continue to improve, grow and push. I've got to keep going for as long as I can basically, until I'm not enjoying it."

However, with Toto Wolff seemingly being lined up to replace Chase Carey as head of F1, one has to wonder about the future of the Mercedes team with whom Hamilton has won four of his titles.

There has always been a question mark over how long the German team would remain in the sport, and now, as it moves into Formula E, not to mention the question of Niki Lauda's shares, one has to wonder if the team will withdraw at the end of 2020, which would still give Hamilton time to equal Schumacher's seven titles.

In the show, which was recorded ahead of the current season, and went live on Netflix on Friday, Hamilton admits to the pressure of the inevitable come downs that follow a racing high, his ongoing battle with teammate Valtteri Bottas putting things firmly in perspective.

"Mentally you have these massive highs, wins and success," he says, "but then you have these massive comedowns.

"It's something I've never really spoken about," he continues, "but you often do suffer from mental issues, instabilities, and keeping yourself together when you hit rock bottom, which you do as an athlete. If you're lucky you can find strength at rock bottom. It's about how you get up, not how you fall."

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