Hamilton wants more difficult weekends to prove his success “is not a car thing” · RaceFans

by Nov 15, 20200 comments


Lewis Hamilton says he wants more challenging races like today’s Turkish Grand Prix so he can demonstrate his success isn’t solely due to the competitiveness of his Mercedes.

He clinched his seventh world championship by winning at Istanbul Park, which is the sixth title he has won since the V6 hybrid turbo era began seven years ago. During that time Mercedes and their drivers have won all the championship silverware.

Hamilton won from sixth on the grid following an atypically poor performance from Mercedes in qualifying. He ran no higher than fifth until the second half of the race, after which he worked his way to the front, passing Sergio Perez to win.

“I want more of these weekends,” said Hamilton. “More tricky conditions like this.

“The more opportunities like this, the more I’m able to show what I’m able to do. And today hopefully you can see… I think I deserve my respect. I think I have that with my peers, they will know how hard today is, particularly that it is not a car thing.

“I couldn’t have done this without that amazing group of people behind me. But there is another great driver who is alongside me, who has the same car who obviously didn’t finish where I finished.”

Some former drivers, including three-times world champion Jackie Stewart, have said the fact Hamilton has had the benefit of a dominant car at times in his career detracts from the scale of his achievements. Hamilton has said he won’t make similar comments about future drivers.

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“I do notice that there are these interesting comments, from past drivers particularly. I really, really promise you, and hope that I stand by my word, when I stop in 10, 20 years from now and look back, I want to be embracing and encouraging the next youngsters that are here.

F1's seven-times champions: Hamilton and Schumacher
F1’s two seven-times champions: Hamilton and Schumacher’s title wins compared

“Whether it’s Lando [Norris], whether its George [Russell], whoever it may be, whether it’s Max [Verstappen]. I know how hard it is to do the job and I know how this world works.

“Of course you have to have a good team and of course you have to have a great car. There is no driver that’s ever really won the championship in the past without it.”

Hamilton described how he learned at an early age the importance of having the best equipment.

“It goes back the same all the way down to karting. You’ve got to have the right equipment. I remember my first championship. I raced and the kid that won was on rocket engines, which Jenson Button’s dad had tuned.

“Those engines were real rockets compared to the cheap, crappy engine that I had which was fifth hand, there was no way I could keep up with these kids. I remember that one weekend – Kimbolton in 1992 or 1993 – he was moving on to the next class, he was selling on these engines.

“I remember my dad had to re-mortgage the house to get this £2,000 engine. But what we did that day was me and this kid, who’d been winning everything, we put his other engine that I was going to buy, that we were looking to buy, in my car and I was ahead of him all the time on track.

“So, of course, you’ve got to have the equipment, of course you’ve got to have it and that’s something that will always be in this sport. But then it’s also what you do with it that really also counts – and hopefully you can see that today.”

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