Lewis Hamilton has vowed to enter the 2019 season even stronger with Mercedes following their championship success this season. Mercedes wrapped up its fifth consecutive constructor's title last weekend, two weeks after Hamilton has crowned a five-time world champion.
The Briton has taken 10 victories this year despite a boosted challenge from Ferrari. His closest rival Sebastian Vettel has only picked up five wins, and hasn't stood on top of the podium since the Belgian Grand Prix in August.
Despite another impressive campaign from the Silver Arrows, Hamilton is expecting to come back next year even stronger: “Records have never been something that’s been a driver for me,” the Briton said.
“It’s been more…I do think to this point this is the highest point of my career in terms of my own performance [and] how I perform with the team. But I do believe there’s always areas we can improve, so we’ll definitely look at this season at the end of the year, and there will always be areas.
“We didn’t win every single race, there were some mishaps, particularly at the beginning of the year, so there’s always room to improve, I expect to do that and that’s my expectation of myself.
“I’ve got to work this winter, there’ll be a slightly amended approach, of course, you’ve got to dig deep. You’ve got these young kids that are coming in, [Charles] Leclerc going to Ferrari, who’s hungry to prove a point, you’ve got Max [Verstappen] who’s still hungry to prove a point, and so I’ve got to make sure that I’m still there.”
Hamilton explained how experience in Formula 1 has helped him cope with the mental challenge of fighting for a world title: “I think in 2008 I was still really a kid, I was still maturing,” he said.
“I naturally had all the talent that I needed but not really had the stability, the core strength, mentally and physically, to take all the different blows, from all the different angles, and handle them and still stay balanced.
“With age and experience I’m able to do that now; there’s not really anything that you can throw at me that I can’t handle. So I still have that ability I had as a kid but now I have that mentality side of things, that stability, a more centred approach, [and that’s] what allows me to drive and handle myself and steer myself through the year the way I do.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing