Hamilton vows to be 'even stronger' next year after second F1 win

Hamilton vows to be 'even stronger' next year after second F1 win
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Published November 24th, 2014 - 15:03 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Hamilton celebrates winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Hamilton celebrates winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Mercedes will be seeking early talks with new Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton on a contract extension after he secured his second world championship title Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton's form in a season dominated by Mercedes is looking ominous for the rest of the field, but the 29-year-old Briton would not be drawn on whether his second title since 2008 heralded a new Hamilton era for the sport.

"We're going to work so hard to make sure we come back even stronger next year," he told Sky Sports.

"I know personally as well that I'm going to make some improvements. I'm going to make sure my qualifying is better next year and I have that race pace as well."

In comments at the post-race news conference, he said: "I wanted to be part of something building and growing. I feel this is just the beginning. What this team has put together is something incredibly special."

Mercedes won a record 16 of the 19 races of the season, with Hamilton winning 11 and team-mate Nico Rosberg five.

The team took 18 pole positions and finished 296 points ahead of Red Bull, who had won both the drivers' championship through Sebastian Vettel and the constructors' champions the four pvious seasons.

Hamilton becomes the fourth Briton to win two world championships, after Jackie Stewart (three titles), Jim Clark and Graham Hill (two each), is now the 16th multiple champion and the first for Mercedes since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955.

Hamilton has won in his second season at Mercedes after many in the sport questioned his decision to leave McLaren.

"We still have another year to go, so there's no particular rush but this is my home," he said of his current contract which expires at the end of 2015.

"I feel very happy here. And obviously the team did a mega job, so I'm forever grateful for them."

Legendary former Mercedes racer Sterling Moss, who was a world championship runner-up four times, says Hamilton could go on to match Michael Schumacher's record seven titles.

"There is almost no limit to what Lewis can achieve now. It just depends on how hungry he remains," he wrote in the Mail.

"But he could race for 10 more years and win seven or eight world titles - beating Michael Schumacher's record in the process - if he has the right equipment."

Moss said he had always been impssed by how late Hamilton brakes. "That is the mark of a top-class driver. His car control is second to none. He is ptty flawless, in fact," he said.

The Telegraph said Hamilton "has earned the right to be called a legend" after winning his second F1 title. By leaving McLaren for Mercedes Hamilton "took a risk that proved to be the making of him."

At the end of a season of sometimes bitter rivalry with Rosberg, Hamilton won the title by 67 points over his team-mate - and believes the relationship will now improve.

"I think it's been so intense between us all year long," he said.

"There's been good moments and bad moments. Without a doubt we've had a friendship or a relationship that we built a long, long, long time ago, so that will always be there."

He added: "Obviously we both wanted it. But I think with our relationship, we'll continue to try to lift the team up, we'll work together as we have done all year long.

"Perhaps things naturally will ease up a little now. He was graceful enough to come up to me and see me after, which I really appciated. It was really big of him to be able to do that.

"It's very, very tough, I know what it's like losing a championship so, for sure, we'll keep working at it."

Hamilton has indicated there should be nothing standing in the way of a new contract.

Mercedes head of motorsport, Toto Wolff, said the team would like to sign Hamilton for "a long time," and Niki Lauda, the team's non-executive chairman, said: "We are going to do this in the next two weeks. He's happy, we're happy, I don't see any issues."

© 2014 dpa GmbH

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