Lewis Hamilton Won't Pull a Nico Rosberg After Winning 2017 Drivers' Title
He claimed that 'there's more in me' to compete against the likes of Vettel and Verstappen.
Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton was able to clinch his fourth career world championship at Mexico on Sunday, defeating Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel for the 2017 honor. His reignited second half allowed for him to run up the score on Seb while capitalizing on the Maranello team's consistent issues, and now, he sits as one of just four drivers to have four Drivers' Titles under his belt. He admitted that despite the consideration of retiring prior to this season, this year's championship fight drove him to a new level and has motivated him to continue in Formula 1 past this season.
Hamilton faced a significant deficit in the first part of the season before clawing his way back up the ranks leading to the sport's summer break. He and Vettel put on quite the show, sparking a competition that obviously reinvigorated the two's performance after missing out on the title last year. Lewis admitted that this was a major part of his decision to return next season in hopes of defending his quadruple-titled regime.
“Obviously each year, I could do the easy thing like obviously Nico did which is just stop and retreat with these four titles, but I think there’s more in me,” said Hamilton. “I think there’s more to come, more of a challenge, as there’s harder times ahead and I like that, I love that, that’s challenging."
Hamilton is, of course, referring to his former teammate Nico Rosberg who won the 2016 F1 Drivers' Championship and promptly retired afterward. The German's decision to do so led to significant controversy within the sport and some had argued that Lewis could perhaps follow suit at the height of his career. However, the Brit explained that veterans like Vettel and newcomers like Verstappen have stoked his competitive edge to keep on.
"It’s kind of cool to be in this battle with him,” he said of Seb. “He got 50 poles here and I’m kind of like, 'I don’t want to give him any more poles because he gets closer to me.' That’s inspiration to keep pushing it, you know?
“Then the same with wins, same with championships and so then I see him sign for another three years with Ferrari and I’m like, Ferrari are not going to like me for the next couple of years. But it’s OK, because we’re going to make it as hard as it can possibly be for them to win championships but I really am looking forward to that battle with them.”
He continued to note Verstappen's promising performance this season after he took home his second victory of the season at Mexico.
"Big congratulations to Max,” said the 32-year-old champion. “He’s really the brightest young star that we’ve seen for some time and I was hoping to have a bit of a battle with him here but it wasn’t meant to be. But there will be many more to come and I hope that in his early era that I can be a good force and a good battle for him.”