Hamilton is living in the moment even as his legacy continues to grow
dpa Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 7:57 am TWN
Lewis Hamilton completely dominated the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone and despite boosting his legacy even further, the Mercedes driver is determined to live in the moment.
Winning his home grand prix for the fifth time took him level with legends Alain Prost and Jim Clark on that mark and his 67th pole position means overtaking Michael Schumacher - just one ahead - to lead that ranking seems inevitable.
"I could imagine one day driving a Formula One car and maybe winning the championship but I couldn't imagine having the poles I have, matching the likes of Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna and having the Hamilton name amongst those stars," he said.
"I'm really proud and I have to really take it back again to the incredible dedication from my family, my dad."
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel may still lead the championship but a late puncture dropped him to seventh in the race and Hamilton now trails by only one point as he chases a fourth title.
Hamilton's latest pole came by a margin of more than half a second from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen - a chasm in F1 terms - as Mercedes seem to have resolved their early season technical issues.
That would make Hamilton favorite for the championship which would put him level with Vettel and Prost, behind only Juan Manuel Fangio on five and Schumacher with seven.
At 32, Hamilton could be forgiven for considering taking himself out of the firing line of competitive sport to fully enjoy the life he so clearly relishes away from the track.
That, however, currently seems unlikely.
"I still feel young, still feel fit," he said. "I'm sure I can go for a long time if I really wanted but I really have no idea what the future holds.
"All I can do is make sure that I maximize every single day and every opportunity that I get that comes ahead of me, I continue to enjoy my life the way I want to enjoy my life, regardless of what people say."
Some people were critical of Hamilton's decision to skip a high-profile F1 event in London before the race to go on a brief holiday but his performance - and the reception he received in winning - proved him right.
"There is no reason to question my preparations," he insisted. "I have more poles than most. I am obviously building up the wins that I have. My performance is second to none. If you don't know now that my preparation is mostly on point, then I guess you never will."
After his victory, Hamilton celebrated with the fans, crowd-surfing over the heads of his adoring public.
"Every year for the last four years I have got to feel that and each year it feels like it has grown and got bigger, more accepted and like I just now went and did the crowd-surfing and they pulled me out into the crowd," he said.
"The reception has just been amazing and so energizing and really fueling up the inspiration to go out there and put a weekend's performance in like that."
Next up is the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 30 with the championship lead going into the four-week summer break at stake.
"It's going to be a close race, I think," said Hamilton. "It's going to go right down to the wire."
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