An emotional Lewis Hamilton has claimed he is “just getting started” after clinching his record-equalling seventh world title in style with an exceptional victory in a chaotic Turkish Grand Prix.
The Briton had to out-score Valterri Bottas by eight points to take the title, but in the end took his 10th win of the year and finished more than a lap ahead of the Finn after the second Mercedes driver suffered a disastrous race.
With tears in his eyes as he spoke after matching an illustrious record set by Michael Schumacher, Hamilton said: “We dreamed of this when I was young, when we were watching the grands prix.
"This is way, way beyond our dreams. I feel like I’m only just getting started. I feel physically in great shape.
“This year been the hardest year for millions of people and things always look great on the big stage but it’s no different for us athletes.
“It has been a challenge I didn’t know how to get through, but with the help of great people around me, I managed to keep my head above water and stay above water. I am really hopeful for a better year next year and I would love to stay.”
The Briton started from sixth on a wet track but changed to intermediate tyres on lap eight and kept them going to the finish, taking the lead from Sergio Perez on lap 37 and managing the tyres all the way to the end.
It was a stunning performance in a season that has seen Hamilton dominate, winning five of the first seven races to set up an unassailable lead and taking the title with three races remaining.
But more than that, it was arguably the biggest record-breaking achievement in his career and he could be heard sobbing in the car on the warm-down lap and was lost for words in the post-race interview.
“It is so important for kids out there to see this and know that don’t listen to anyone who tells you, you can’t achieve anything,” he said. “Dream the impossible and speak it into existence.
“You’ve got to work for it, you’ve got to chase it and you’ve got to never give up and never doubt yourself.”
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