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Lewis Hamilton collects champion’s trophy and aims for more

Lewis Hamilton seemed ahead to more success with Mercedes after amassing his fifth Formula One world champion’s trophy on the governing FIA’s gala awards on Friday.

Britain’s most profitable racing driver, and solely the third man to win not less than 5 titles, additionally gained a media vote for persona of the yr — denying Red Bull rival Max Verstappen a fourth in a row.

“It does feel incredible,” the 33-year-old instructed the viewers gathered within the Grand Hall of the St Petersburg Philarmonia, after FIA president Jean Todt had handed him his trophy.

Asked whether or not matching Michael Schumacher’s document seven championships was his final aim, Hamilton stated he had by no means set that as a goal. He made clear, nonetheless, that he could be round lengthy sufficient to provide it a attempt.

“I’ve just signed for another two years…so I’m excited about the next couple of years,” stated the champion, who gained 11 races out of 21 this yr. “But proper now I am joyful that the racing’s over.

“Next yr’s going to be so powerful, the seasons are getting longer and longer. I do not understand how lengthy I’ll go, at the moment two years sounds good for me.

“But I still love racing so maybe I’ll be going a lot longer. Who knows?”

Hamilton, who stated additionally that his mother and father had wished to be current however had an issue with the Russian visa course of, had earlier been a no-show at an official information convention.

Mercedes stated he had not felt “100 percent”.

Ferrari’s runner-up Sebastian Vettel and third-placed Finnish crew mate Kimi Raikkonen had been additionally on stage, the latter earlier seen brandishing a cigar and trying like he was having fun with the social gathering.

“Kimi has enjoyed tonight a lot,” noticed the present presenter.

Mercedes crew boss Toto Wolff was offered with the constructors’ trophy by moustachioed Formula One chief govt Chase Carey — the crew’s fifth in a row.

Wolff and his crew’s non-executive chairman Niki Lauda had been additionally recipients of the FIA president’s particular award, with the triple world champion absent as he recovers from a lung transplant.

“He sends his regards, he is recovering very well,” stated Wolff. “Next time he’s going to be here.”

Charles Leclerc, Vettel’s crew mate at Ferrari subsequent yr, was the rookie of the yr for the second successive season after profitable the Formula Two title in 2017.

The Action of the Year, voted by followers worldwide, went to Finnish rally driver Teemu Suninen for an enormous slide on his residence occasion. (Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, enhancing by Martyn Herman)

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