After little sleep and some doubts Lewis Hamilton yesterday managed to pull off one of the greatest achievements in sport in recent years and deservedly being crowned World Champion for the second time in his racing career.
Speaking about the night leading into his race Hamilton said: ‘I didn’t sleep […] I went to bed at about 1am and woke at 5am.” To calm his nerves and maintain the composure necessary to win such an important, deciding race Hamilton said he “went for a run and a massage” on the morning of the race. “I thought I would be tired for the race but I felt composed,” said the 29-year-old, whose family paid him a surprise visit at breakfast.
Hamilton was off to a great start, breezing past Nico Rosberg before the 29-year-old German’s car began to give him problems. Rosberg himself later said that, "What happened to me (the issues with his car) had no impact on (the championship) […] He was out there winning the race."
Prince Harry, who was watching the race, congratulated Hamilton over the radio in his car telling him, "Lewis, you are an absolute legend."
Indeed, it was a proud moment for British sport as a whole as Hamilton, with 384 championship points, tore across the finish line in first place. Waving the Union Jack flag and exclaiming that "This is the greatest moment of my life," Hamilton became the fourth British driver to ever win multiple world championships, with Sir Jackie Stewart being the last to do so back in 1971.
After crossing the finish line and still in the cockpit Hamilton joyfully shouted "World champion, baby!" Later, after leaving the track, a more subdued Hamilton had tears in his eyes. The magnitude of his achievement had clearly started to sink in.
An emotional moment for Lewis Hamilton
The significance of the 29-year-old’s achievements must be put into context to be fully appreciated.
With an 11th win of the season Hamilton showed great consistency of driving skill and found himself in a position that, other – now – than Hamilton, only the great Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel have ever achieved.
Hamilton won his last World Championship title back in 2008 when he was still a very young, relatively inexperienced driver. Asked how yesterday’s win compared to his first Hamilton said, “In 2008 I had it, I lost it, I had it, I lost it, I lost it the year before. It just all happened so quickly. I’ve had time to get to grips with Formula 1, learn the ropes, grow as an individual and today I feel so much more whole as a person. So it feels better, for sure.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate and main rival for the crown Nico Rosberg, who had problems with his car during the race, said that Hamilton was the deserved winner. "I'm very disappointed but all in all Lewis deserved to win the championship. That's clear," said the German driver. He added, "All in all he just did a better job than me, especially in the races."
Hamilton’s father, Anthony Hamilton, admitted that his son’s outstanding achievement had outdone the success that he had ever imagined for him, saying: “If someone had told me when Lewis was eight that he’d be a double champion, I’d have called them a liar. I’m so proud.”
Already a strong contender for the Sports Personality of the Year Award before yesterday’s win, now Hamilton is certainly in with a great chance of winning the award.