Newly-crowned champion Lewis Hamilton has said that the feeling of winning his sixth Formula 1 world title is far above “cloud nine”.
After a difficult qualifying at the United States Grand Prix, where Hamilton could only do enough for fifth, he got it together for the race, opting for a one-stop strategy, to eventually cross the line in second and securing his sixth Formula 1 world championship.
Speaking about what it feels like to have won his sixth world title, Hamilton said: “It’s hard to explain what I’m feeling right now, to be honest.
“Cloud nine doesn’t even get close, it’s somewhere far above that.
“It’s been the hardest year I can remember; it’s been so challenging, going through the ups and downs, so right now I’m just so full of emotion, it’s overwhelming.”
Hamilton had a great start to the race, leapfrogging both Ferrari’s to move up to third, and he managed to take the lead after deciding to opt for a one-stop strategy, but was unable to hold on to it as his team-mate Valtteri Bottas managed to pass him with only five laps remaining.
Despite being unable to take the title with a victory at the Grand Prix in Austin, Hamilton was still happy he could make up for a difficult Saturday and deliver a 1-2 for Mercedes, and dedicated his title to Niki Lauda.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Niki, he’s here with us in spirit.” added Hamilton.
“I saw my parents right after the race and seeing my dad’s smile, it says it all.
“My family have supported me since day one, they worked so hard for me to be here today.
“Yesterday was a difficult day and today I just wanted to recover and deliver a one-two for the team.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff hailed Hamilton’s “special achievement”, and pointed to Hamilton’s race performance as evidence as to how motivated the six-time world champion still is.
“Taking his sixth drivers’ title is a truly remarkable and special achievement.” commented Wolff.
“You can see how motivated Lewis still is, he wants to win every race and get the best result possible.
“It’s not been an easy year, with tough competition and the loss of Niki.
“Valtteri drove an absolutely faultless race today, he has been on incredible form all weekend and he thoroughly deserved the victory.
“[But,]Lewis fought back in style and put in a great drive to go from P5 to P2.”