Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

Hamilton says he “wants number five” after fourth title win

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton isn’t thinking of stopping after clinching his fourth world championship in the Mexican Grand Prix yesterday.

“Four is a great number,” he told journalists after yesterday’s race. “I want number five now.”

Lewis Hamilton four times world champion
Hamilton wins his fourth world championship title
In a lengthy post-race discussion with the assembled media Hamilton described the changes he’d made in his approach to racing this year, such as working without a personal trainer.

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

Hamilton said he hopes his achievement inspires other young people to pursue their dreams.

“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,” he added. “I hope one day I’m able to help find the next me because he’s somewhere out there.”

“When I was growing up there was a couple of teachers that said ‘you’re never going to amount to anything’,” he added, “so I wonder what they’re thinking now when they watch me today?”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017
Mexican Grand Prix in pictures
“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.”

Since he joined Mercedes in 2013 Hamilton was won the world championship three times. “I wonder how many people in here thought it was the worst move to Mercedes,” he said.

“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.”

Hamilton paid tribute to his championship rival Sebastian Vettel, saying that fighting against another driver of similar success is how the championship ‘should be’.

“To be able to battle someone else who is a four time world champion, a proven world champion, who’s got great skill and a team also that knows how to win championships, to extract the most from my guys, to compete with that, that’s how every championship needs to be,” he said. “I hope there’s more championships like this one where we have this tough battle.”

“I’ve enjoyed it this year more than ever”

Next year is Hamilton’s last on his current contract at Mercedes, but he indicated he isn’t ready to stop racing soon.

“I’ve enjoyed it this year more than ever,” he added. “I do think about [how] it would be so nice at some stage just to live in one place, a lot more socialising, walking your dogs every day or surfing, whatever it is, but staying in one place for a period of time.”

“But then I’m thinking there’s a lot of life to live beyond 40. There’s a lot to go and so the balance is: I can’t come back to Formula One, so there’s going to be a point in which OK, I’ve had enough.”

“I’ve already been blessed and had such a wonderful time here in these ten years. Hopefully I have my place here and I’m going to continue to – whilst I’m at my best – continue to try and… and I want to go out on top so that’s my goal.”

“Obviously each year, I could do the easy thing like obviously Nico [Rosberg] did which is just stop and retreat with these four titles, but I think there’s more in me, I think there’s more to come, more of a challenge, as there’s harder times ahead and I like that, I love that, that’s challenging.”

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 48 comments on “Hamilton says he “wants number five” after fourth title win”

    1. Anyone else find it slightly odd that he paraded around a British flag but has on a custom Mercedes hat featuring an American one? Regardless, congrats to him. He’s driven incredibly during the second half of this season.

      1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        30th October 2017, 11:22

        It’s not odd to me, he spends much of his time in the US already and is likely to move there permanently in a few years. And why not?

      2. @colinchapman The cap is part of the now usual Hamilton annual special edition caps, for 2017 this includes variants for Canada, China, British and U.S. GPs. Hamilton was sporting the 2017 U.S. cap from the week before.

      3. He’s still wearing his special edition US hat from the week before, it is back to back race weekends. The gran turismo advertising on the side probably has something to do with it to.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th October 2017, 13:40

          @addimaf1 there’s a video of him playing Gran Turismo in Japan – really fun to watch!

      4. @colinchapman Whats odd with that, pray tell?

        You do know that whatever he wears comes from sponsors. And the British flag? You do know he’s British, right?

        1. Well yes I do realize that. Just pointing out it’s ironic to be displaying your patriotism while wearing another countries flag.

          @stubbornswiss

      5. I don’t blame him for not wanting to live here in the UK anymore as the culture and atmosphere is increasingly hostile toward anyone successful. I hope he starts a family and puts as much of his money as possible to providing for his family and charity causes, and as little as possible in the hands of the British government.

    2. Given the relative stability of the rules for the next few years, I wouldn’t rule him out from matching Schumacher’s tally of WDC titles by 2021. He’s certainly got the ability and seems to be getting stronger with each passing year.

      What an incredible talent he is, and how lucky we are to have drivers of his calibre on the grid.

      1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        30th October 2017, 11:29

        @mazdachris I’m really glad to see him setting targets, if he can maintain the current level of desire, there’s no reason why he can’t overtake Schumacher – certainly the wins total looks very achievable. I think the hardest thing now is to maintain the ridiculous level of motivation he’s shown this season for the few remaining years. If he manages to do so he’ll be very hard to beat.

        AMuS reports that Mercedes are developing a high rake car next year, so he may start the season a little off the pace but I expect the car to improve rapidly – I’m really looking forward to 2018: Vettel out for revenge and a competitive Renault engine for Alonso and Verstappen. It ought to be even better than this year – and this year’s been fantastic!

        1. What do you mean by high rake car @thegrapeunwashed

          1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            31st October 2017, 9:27

            @f1fan-2000 Rake is the difference in floor height front to rear. High rake cars benefit from better downforce, but seem to work best (from my understanding) with shorter wheelbases, meaning more drag. There’s a great article explaining rake here –

            – including photos showing how extreme the Red Bull design was back in 2010/2011. Most of the teams have adopted Red Bull’s approach, but it’s notoriously difficult to get right. Mercedes has always preferred low rake designs to minimise the drag on their long wheelbase cars, but AMuS reports that their design concept has come to the end of its life. Unfortunately I can’t find the article now, it was written by Michael Schmidt.

            If Mercedes go down the high rake route their performance profile will be closer to Ferrari and Red Bull, i.e. much better on slow twisty tracks. It seems the right approach to me.

          2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            31st October 2017, 9:28

            My link failed, here’s the address –

            http://www.formula1-dictionary.net/rake_angle.html

        2. Interesting report about the rake car!

        3. I can see him matching Shuey’s title count, but I think wins are going to be a lot harder to come by over the next 3 years. He’ll need to average just over 11 wins a season through the year 2020, and we can already see this year that performance is converging between the top 3/4 teams. He will need to make another Mercedes-like decision in 2021 to achieve the wins record IMO.

          1. I was incorrect on the number of wins in the next 3 years, he will need to average just under 10 wins. Still, pretty difficult to do.

        4. I think Hamilton was determined this year after losing out to Rosberg last year he wanted to prove a point this year, and then with Ferrari being close he knew it was an opportunity to prove he was the best in the Sport and that motivated him more. I used to remember when Vettel was winning his titles Fernando and Lewis would make comments about them implying they were better but they couldn’t show it at the time.

          Be great if Red Bull can start the season strong, personally i can’t see Lewis beating Shumachers win or title record (and i am a massive fan of his), he is what? 29 wins away…29 wins puts you in the top of all time winners in F1, that is not to be sniffed at.

          but i would love to see Hamilton go toe to toe with Alonso for a title and Verstappen before he does retire.

          1. He already went toe to toe with Alonso and beat him. Verstappen Hamilton would be a great rivalry though, I much prefer Verstappen’s driving to Vettel’s.

      2. @mazdachris

        Given the relative stability of the rules for the next few years, I wouldn’t rule him out from matching Schumacher’s tally of WDC titles by 2021.

        But if the rules remain stable, the changes are high that Ferrari and Red Bull are competitive in 2018, just like they are now. As long as the Renault and the Ferrari engines don’t desintegrate at random, we are up for a thrilling 2018!

        Agree with your last sentence, we are privileged.

    3. Can’t deny the man’s talent, but I wonder why he’s always gotta take little pot shots at people in a moment like this.

      1. Yes that annoys me too. Be more regal when you are the champion.

      2. I think he’s just saying what everyone is thinking to be honest. The Rosberg comment is something I read a lot last year and to be fair it is very weak for a driver to retire as soon as they win a Chamiponship. If someone asks “are you going to retire now” I think it’s fair to talk about Nico as he’s the most high profile case and without his retirement I doubt that question would have even been asked. No one would be talking about retirement had the last Champion not retired.

        1. The point is not whether he is right or wrong in what he says, but in the fact that he feels the need to say it at all. He should be above that I feel.

          1. Hmm, I’d only see it as a pot shot if I shared the opinion expressed by Ben – that it is weak for a driver to retire as soon as he wins the championship.

            What did Rosberg have left to prove? He’d beaten Schumacher, he’d beaten Hamilton, and he’d proved himself the equal of his father. Or if you take the opposite view, perhaps he believed that the only way he could beat Hamilton again was to engage in another incredibly draining, psychologically intense, season-long battle, constantly under a media spotlight and having to resort to politicking in the team and pulling every tiny advantage he could get, and even then needing a couple of Hamilton DNFs to wrap it up. I can’t blame him for not being up for a repeat of that. It’s not like he needs the money, or the risk, or the constant jetsetting, or the random 6am drug tests. Why not just chill and enjoy his life and his family? Fair play to the guy.

            But then, some people are just hell-bent on plucking out some reason, however tenuous, to denigrate Hamilton. Maybe they should look in the mirror.

          2. I kind of agree, he lacks a bit of filtering that would do him more good sometimes. But at the same time Rosberg is still to be seen ‘buzzing around’ the paddocks and offering comments on the season, including Hamilton and his racing, which include his own little barbs (like how he managed to be quicker in the US). Petty stuff maybe but I don’t see why Hamilton should be above sending some of those back in his direction. More broadly, if you take Button’s own word for it, he worked on how to undermine Hamilton off-track as a means to get closer to him on track. And later advised Rosberg on how to do the same. Turn to this year, and Hamilton is clearly relieved not to have that psychological warfare going on (yet….) with Bottas. And may well blame Rosberg still for off-track factors that led him to lose last year through various relaibility issues (not saying I agree here, I’ve no idea).

    4. Schumacher’s target of 7 titles is very realistic for Hamilton. Chances are, next year’s title challenge will be between Lewis and Seb again. If Red Bull remain competitive and find reliability, Dan and Max will take a lot of point off each other, rendering them slightly behind in the stakes.

      Lewis will have tougher battle next year (providing it all doesn’t for t!ts up at Ferrari), but I doubt he will have much of challenge from his teammate. I think he’d be in with a good shout for the title next year again.

      1. And if he retires when Schumacher eventually retired, aged 43, he’s got another 11 years to catch up.

    5. “enjoyed it this year more than ever” – did he mean the absence of Rosberg?
      So now he wants Mansell’s red five?

    6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th October 2017, 13:51

      I don’t think Hamilton has to worry about a 5th title – if it comes good, if it doesn’t then that’s fine too. He’s got 4 championships and he’s going to score more wins, poles, and podiums.

      Very few F1 fanatics consider his 4 championships as just 4 – they usually round it up to 5, 6, or 7.

      Oddly enough he has had to fight really hard for all 4 championships and I can’t think of any driver who would have managed to win one of Lewis’s championships under similar circumstances, except maybe Senna. As history has shown, Rosberg would have probably beaten Schumacher and most likely anyone else he was paired with and would have ended a 4 time WDC.

      If anything, I want better racing from Lewis.

      1. If anything, I want better racing from Lewis.

        @freelittlebirds Well, he’s certainly going to need it against Verstappen! He could afford to back off in scraps with Max this year as he had the title in view. Not so next season. Let’s hope Red Bull and Mercedes are more or less the same level. And who knows, McLaren too. Alonso has started to annoy me again with his endless I’m-so-fabulous comments. Okay, I think he’s a great driver too. But enough already: time for Fernando to walk the talk, finally, and be in a title race again. (Because last time, against Vettel, I wasn’t that impressed.)

        1. You weren’t that impressed by Alonso in 2012? And you were impressed by Vettel?! I though Vettel made a right pigs ear of his 2012 season

          1. OK, I was being a bit provocative. But I thought he played too safe in a few races.

    7. Mercedes will likely have a significant engine advantage again next year, and with Bottas as teammate you have to say that Hamilton is odds-on favourite for the championship.

      This year Hamilton had the fastest and most reliable car on the grid, as well as a teammate who came to Mercedes at the last minute and wasn’t much faster than a Felipe Massa 8 years past his prime at Williams. Mercedes won 11 races, Ferrari 4, Red Bull 3.

      The 2017 Mercedes wasn’t as dominant as the 2014-16 (those were the most dominant in the history of the sport), but it was a great car this year. As dominant as the 2011 Red Bull in my opinion (McLaren managed 6 wins that year).

      The Rosberg comment is interesting and shows that the psychological scars from going head-to-head with Nico are still there even after winning the title this year. I think Rosberg winning last year still gnaws at him because it’s a blemish on the record (much like Button outscoring him from 2010-12). Hamilton’s a good driver, but if you want to be alongside the greats of all time then getting beat by Button and Rosberg does hurt your GOAT aspirations.

      Also, the events since the summer break also showed Rosberg played it smart last year going into the final four races, just doing enough to bring the car home in second. One broken front wing, one puncture, would have been enough to hand the advantage back to Hamilton.

      Rosberg did win it on merit last year. Don’t forget that going into the final four races, Rosberg had 9 wins to Hamilton’s 6 with Hamilton only having one DNF all year. When the championship was up for grabs, Rosberg did get the race wins.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        30th October 2017, 15:36

        About Rosberg winning on merit – Rosberg was proverbially crushed on track last year – he may have beaten everyone else but the only person he didn’t beat was Lewis.

        As for Button, I still don’t understand why people say that. Button maximized his points at McLaren given his potential but Lewis was underperforming easily to the tune of 100 points in 2011 and 2012 and most of that wasn’t his fault. He could have easily won 2 championships (2010 and 2012) with Button as his teammate while Button was super lucky to get 2nd in 2011. If in any doubt do the math for Montreal’s crash to see how the points swing and how Hamilton is right there.

        1. About Rosberg winning on merit – Rosberg was proverbially crushed on track last year – he may have beaten everyone else but the only person he didn’t beat was Lewis.

          Really, a driver of Hamilton’s talent should have beaten Rosberg like Vettel would beat Webber.

          Hamilton could have already had 5 championships and be within touching distance of Schumacher’s wins record given the embarrassment of riches he’s had at Mercedes since 2014.

      2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        30th October 2017, 16:52

        Rosberg: Hamilton’s DNF in Malaysia was equivalent to gifting Rosberg 4 wins (28 points in a season where Mercedes were expected to finish 1-2). In total he lost at least 40 points through no fault of his own.

        Button: Hamilton beat button 24-13 in two car finishes over three seasons. Button lost to Alonso by 10-11 in two car finishes over two seasons.

        Case closed?

        1. Rosberg: Hamilton’s DNF in Malaysia was equivalent to gifting Rosberg 4 wins (28 points in a season where Mercedes were expected to finish 1-2). In total he lost at least 40 points through no fault of his own.

          Hamilton was incredibly fortunate that Rosberg had spun at the start of that race. Rosberg was only able to collect 15 points rather than 25.

          If you’re going to diminish Rosberg’s championship because Hamilton had one DNF in 2016, then we have to diminish Hamilton’s in 2017 because he hasn’t had a single DNF.

          For as much as Hamilton has talked about bad luck over the years, he’s only had 2 DNFs in the past 65 races. Not only has he had incredible reliability, but has had by far the fastest car on the grid.

          Even with the Malaysia DNF, Rosberg was still leading Hamilton 9 wins to 6 going into the final 4 races.

          Then Rosberg just played it safe, much like Hamilton in Sepang this year when he didn’t muster a fight against Verstappen.

    8. As ever with Hamilton, great talent, bordering on singular, but he is a product of our self-involved, image-driven times and I can’t help but cringe when he gets to talking about helping to find ‘the next me’. I mean I get that he basically has the psychological profile of a child star who’s been the center of attention from a young age. I was happy for him when he drove with the flag and did his celebrations, but then I also couldn’t help the feeling that it was all for the cameras. But anyhoo, that’s just me. In other news, I thought Coulthard was unbelievably obnoxious pushing the microphone in his face the moment he came out of the car. Sign of the times too I guess.

      1. I thought Coulthard was unbelievably obnoxious pushing the microphone in his face the moment he came out of the car.

        @maciek I imagine it’s more a case of the director in the FOM production gallery badgering Coulthard through his ear-piece to get an instant reaction from Lewis rather than Coulthard himself trying to push it. You can tell on his grid-walks how much the Channel 4 director pressures him into interviewing drivers when as a former driver himself he appreciates that they don’t really want to be bothered minutes before lights-out. It’s like you say though, a sign of the times.

      2. @maciek
        I felt bad for Coulthard, he shouldn’t have been put in that position in the first place. It’s not like he could just stand there whistling a tune for half an hour while Hamilton did a victory lap on foot.

    9. Come off it, Lewis didn’t drive any better than Vettel when the latter had the best car. Come to think of it in that era Lewis didn’t really put up much of a challenge in the 2nd best car. His most impressive year still remains 2007.
      Sorry but I just can’t buy into trophy collecting = true great. Look at Stirling Moss.

      1. Is Vettel a great in your eye by any chance?

    10. He really wants 4 more championships and 30 more victories then he relax

    11. “Obviously each year, I could do the easy thing like obviously Nico [Rosberg] did which is just stop and retreat with these four titles, but I think there’s more in me, I think there’s more to come, more of a challenge, as there’s harder times ahead and I like that, I love that, that’s challenging.”

      You have just won your fourth F1 world’s championship, undoubtedly etching your name into motorsport history. You have a dedicated fanbase that will defend your every move regardless of how inane it is. You are pretty much assured that people will one day be expected to address you as Sir Lewis Hamilton.

      You could now choose to bathe in the shine of your achievements with dignity and pride … or apparently, you can make salty, petty and generally low-class digs because you can’t get over a loss. You do you, Lewis.

    12. It all hinges on Red Bull next year and the Max Factor, lol. We expect Vettel and Ferrari to be strong, but if Red Bull start off next year like Ferrari did this it could get very interesting. I hope the Renault engine next year is a beast, then with a bit of luck McLaren can rise again giving Alonso possibly one last crack at the title.
      It’s all speculation. The reality was though in 2017 was that only two drivers could be champion, poor reliability killed Verstappen’s chances which was a shame.
      If he gets a car like Lewis or Sebastian had this year we will have one of our best seasons we have ever had as fans. I really hope that is the case. The sport needs it, the fans want it, and Bernie can suck on it.

    13. Of course, he wants more than Vettel.

    14. Ham will get 7 before the 2021 engine rules change because no one can touch the Mercedes car. The only mystery to the WDC and WCC is how many races into the season will it take for Hamilton/Mercedes to win it.

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