Lewis Hamilton won his fifth Formula One world championship at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.
Hamilton thanked his Mercedes team, but it was one teammate he didn’t want to mention, especially with close rival Nico Rosberg finishing a distant fourth.
“I have walked this sport alone,” Hamilton said. “My teammates have been brilliant. I can’t thank them enough, but mainly I have walked this sport alone and that makes it so much more special.
“It’s not easy sometimes, especially during the season, but with the people around you, whether it’s the team, my team, my engine people, the garage, the fans, and the millions that are really here.
“I’m just really happy to have done it with my peers. Every point counts.”
Hamilton’s winner’s lap set a record at the Yas Marina Circuit and then he went out to help his teammates once again after winning the title. Hamilton showed it’s not only his ability that makes him great, but his belief as well. He got through his lap without asking anyone for help.
When the car is hooked up, “no one cares,” he said in front of the Mercedes team.
However, when the team has to prepare for the next race, “it’s about the team now,” he said, adding that he felt guilty knowing someone would have to replace him if he won the title.
“This is not easy for me,” Hamilton said. “This is a tricky season. I have had to choose between someone else and my family and my team.
“This is probably the hardest thing I have done in my life. I still get goose bumps talking about it.
“It’s been a big challenge this year for me. And I have made it.”