[F1 2017 NEWS] MERCEDES: HAMILTON TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP

Lewis Hamilton has secured his fourth World Drivers’ Championship - secured with a ninth place in Mexico after a first-lap puncture.

It’s his third crown in four years, with the Silver Arrows the dominant force in F1’s turbo-hybrid era, and he was fired-up right from the outset. 

SOUNDBITE (English) LEWIS HAMILTON, 4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“I can't want it anymore than I already do every year. So - I want it, right now, just as much as I always have wanted it.”

Hamilton is now the most successful British driver of all-time, joining Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel on four crowns. Only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher have more.

But regardless of whatever happens from now on, it’s clear that Hamilton has achieved everything he originally dreamed of.

SOUNDBITE (English) LEWIS HAMILTON, 4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“To get that three titles and to win in Formula 1 in front of millions of people, and be declared one of the best drivers. That's been my sole goal since I was young."

It’s likely Hamilton will soon sign a contract extension that will take him to the end of 2020, matching the same deals for Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari - and Max Verstappen at Red Bull Racing.

Should he take another championship next year to equal Fangio then the Brit could stick around to challenge for Schumacher’s outright title record - having already broken the German’s all-time pole position record.

SOUNDBITE (English) LEWIS HAMILTON, 4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
"I grew up watching TV, just as all of you guys do, watching Grands Prix and one day hoping to do what Michael Schumacher was doing. And now I’ve kind of equalled him, so it just feels very surreal, but it’s something that I'm very proud of.”

Hamilton is not short of records, though, having rewritten the history books in Austin for most front row starts. He also has the record for most points, as well as  wins at different circuits with 24.

And he’ll continue to rack up records, the next big one being Schumacher’s win tally of 91 - though there’s a long way to go with Hamilton still 29 off as of Mexico.

Most importantly, Hamilton’s enjoying his racing again; the Briton free from the thorn in the side that was Nico Rosberg.

“It has not made things easier for me but it has made the environment a better place to work in,” Hamilton said.

But Hamilton is not going to go on forever, the Brit famously enjoying his life away from the track - including fashion shows in London and the hip- hop scene in Los Angeles. And his time is coming to step away… 

SOUNDBITE (English) LEWIS HAMILTON, 4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“I do think about it at the beginning of the year - at the end of each season and particularly at the beginning of the season when you're going through the tough training.”

His fellow F1 world champions, though, aren’t so sure.

SOUNDBITE (French) ALAIN PROST, 4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“I think that as long as he wins and enjoys what he's doing he'll never stop. F1 today, when you are in a team like Mercedes, and you're happy, the quality of life that he has, the great freedom he has; he's in a unique situation. Something we have never seen in F1.”

Regardless, with four world championships, Hamilton has become a true great of F1 - and with nothing left to prove, the sky could be the limit.