Belfast Telegraph

Reality of historic fourth world title yet to set in, says focused Hamilton

 

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton said the reality of clinching his fourth championship is yet to sink in as he revealed he received 300 congratulatory messages following his historic triumph.

Hamilton surpassed Sir Jackie Stewart as the first British driver to win more than three Formula One world titles in Mexico last month.

The Englishman touched down in Sao Paulo for the penultimate round of his championship-winning season nursing a cold and mired in controversy after it was alleged earlier this week that he had avoided a £3.3million VAT charge on his private jet.

A spokesman for the 32-year-old Mercedes driver said on Monday the deal was "above board'' and that "the matter is now in the hands of his lawyers''.

And Hamilton appeared unperturbed by the Paradise Papers claims, insisting he had nothing more to add and instead choosing to focus on the title.

"Every now and then I would pinch myself, and say 'remember we won the world championship last week?'," Hamilton said. "It hasn't sunk in because I have tried to stay in the zone and the same mental frame of mind.

"After the race in Mexico I had 300 messages - e-mails, texts, WhatsApp messages - and I didn't know I even knew that many people. It was probably the most I have ever had. It feels good walking into the paddock as a world champion. It feels like the first time. I don't know why, but it feels so fresh and so new."

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