F1: Lewis Hamilton says 2018 Mercedes is his best
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Lewis Hamilton names this year’s Mercedes as the car he has enjoyed driving the most, as it has allowed him to extract extra performance from himself.
Mercedes secured a fifth consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship double this season, with the latter title being secured in Brazil on Sunday. As a result, celebrations have been taking place back at the team’s headquarters in Brackley and Brixworth, England — home of High Performance Powertrains — and Hamilton used the opportunity to praise the W09 for the performances it enabled him to deliver.
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“I just want to take a moment to say thank you, everyone!” Hamilton said. “I’m just incredibly proud of everyone’s hard work. I know it’s been a tough year for everyone here, so thank you all — it’s been a privilege and absolutely awesome to drive this car.
“All the cars before have been pretty great to drive, but this has been the car that I’ve enjoyed the most in all those years. I felt like it enabled me to bring something out of myself that I knew was there, but not every year you’re able to extract it within the car — this is from all the hard work you have done.
“It’s great to see everyone so hyped and enthusiastic. So, let’s make sure that we enjoy this moment and embrace it. I hope everyone realizes what we’ve achieved together is absolutely phenomenal. Let’s keep pushing, let’s keep raising the bar together!”
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas has yet to win a race this season but shared similar feelings about how good the 2018 car is, praising the way Mercedes reacted in the face of a significant Ferrari challenge.
“One of our great advantages this year was that we were able to turn all the pressure from the competition and the tough battle with Ferrari into strengths and motivation,” Bottas said. “That has been the key to success this year, and something we need to remember for next year, when the competition is most likely going to be even tougher.
“For me personally, this season was not what I had hoped for, but I’m really happy to be part of this Constructors’ Championship-winning team — it means a lot to me and I’m a very proud team member. Thanks a lot for all your hard work — you’ve built an awesome car that is absolutely amazing and a great enjoyment to drive.”
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