Click here to print page

Hamilton hails Caribbean family after historic sixth title

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

AUSTIN, Texas (CMC) — Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton has celebrated with his Caribbean family connections after clinching his sixth world title by winning Sunday's United States Grand Prix on Sunday, to become the second most successful F1 driver in history.

The 34-year-old, entering the contest at the Circuit of the Americas needing to finish eighth or better in order to wrap up the title, finished second behind Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, to overtake Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio for career titles.

Hamilton is now only behind the iconic German Michael Schumacher, who won two titles with Benetton and another five with Ferrari.

“It's just overwhelming if I'm really honest. It was such a tough race today (Sunday),” said Hamilton, whose paternal grandparents hail from Grenada and who was honoured by the Caribbean country for his track exploits in 2008.

“Yesterday (Saturday qualifying) was really a difficult day for us. Valtteri did a fantastic job, so huge congratulations to him. Today, I really just wanted to recover and deliver the one-two for the team. I didn't think the one-stop was going to be possible but I worked as hard as I could. I'm just filled with so much emotion.

“I have my whole team here, everyone back at the factory. I've got my mum and my dad, my step-mum and my step-dad here, my uncle George and my aunt from Trinidad, and all the family back home obviously. It's just an honour to be up here with those greats.”

He added: “Cloud nine doesn't even get close to where I am — I'm somewhere far above that. Right now it's hard to understand what I'm feeling to be honest. Naturally just pure happiness.”

Starting from third row on the grid, Hamilton stormed to fourth through turn one to move up the field and by lap nine, had moved up to third behind pole-sitter and leader Bottas and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in second.

Hamilton took the lead after Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who finished third, pitted on lap 13 and 14 respectively, and even though he dropped down the field after also pitting, re-assumed the lead later on when his two main rivals made second stops.

He eventually surrendered the lead to Bottas on lap 52 before fending off a strong challenge from Verstappen, to follow his teammate home.

Hamilton said afterwards he had been determined to take the chequered flag, and had given the effort everything he had.

“My dad told me when I was like six or seven years old to never give up and that's kind of the family motto…so I was pushing as hard as I could,” he stressed.

“I was hopeful that I might be able to win today but it didn't have it in the tyres unfortunately.”

Hamilton has won 10 times this season and sits on an unassailable 381 points with two races left but said he was still highly motivated to finish the season strongly.

“I don't know about championships but as an athlete I feel fresh as can be right now, so I'm ready for these next races, we won't let up, we'll keep pushing,” the Brit said.

“I've got to say a big, big thank you to all team LH ( Lewis Hamilton) around the world, everyone that has come out here this weekend to really make this event what it is, and also to all the Brits and people with the UK flags supporting me this weekend. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”