Hamilton dedicates sixth title to family and Lauda

Finley Crebolder
Lewis Hamilton says he still looks back through old messages between himself and Niki Lauda.

Lewis Hamilton says he still looks back through old messages between himself and Niki Lauda.

Lewis Hamilton singled out his family and the late Niki Lauda when discussing his emotions after winning his sixth World Championship.

The Mercedes driver headed into the race knowing he needed just four points to secure the title and did so comfortably, finishing in P2 behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

“It’s just overwhelming if I’m really honest,” Hamilton told Martin Brundle after the race.

“It was such a tough race today. Yesterday was a really difficult day for us and Valtteri did a fantastic job so a huge congratulations to him.

“Today I really just wanted to recover and deliver the one-two for the team and I didn’t think the one-stop would be possible but I worked as hard as I could.

“I was pushing as hard as I could and I was hopeful I might be able to get the win today but I didn’t have it in the tyres, unfortunately.

Moving on from the race to talk about being a World Champion for the sixth time, the Briton paid tribute to his family and his Mercedes colleague, the late Niki Lauda.

“Naturally it’s just pure happiness. I feel more humble than ever. I saw my parents as I came in and just looking at my dad’s smile just says it all.

 “He’s supported me from day one, as did Linda [ his step mother], as did my mum and they worked so hard for me to be here today. So I really wanted them to come out together.

“I think this is the first race I can remember for a long, long time of us being here together and all being united as a family.

“Cloud nine doesn’t even get close to where I am. I’m somewhere far above that and I’m just really grateful to everyone back at the factory, everyone who has supported me this year within the team, who have worked so hard to enable us to do what we do.

“It’s such a privilege and an honour to work for this team and to have the platform to put performances in like that today. I miss Niki so much and I know today that he would be taking his cap off.

“Yesterday he would have been saying he’s paying me too much but today he would have taken his cap off. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Niki. He’s here with us in spirit.”

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