AUSTIN: Lewis Hamilton was still celebrating with family and friends in New York on Tuesday after clinching his sixth Formula One world title and opening his heart at the United States Grand Prix.

The 34-year-old Briton, now the second most successful driver of all time behind seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, flew to New York with his party after Sunday’s race and an admission that he had been ‘battling certain demons’.

“Each and every single one of us is struggling with something in life. I try to show people that, from the outside, things always look great, but it’s not always the case,” he said.

Hamilton20191109 - Hamilton, family celebrate sixth F1 crown in New York
Formula One World Drivers Champion Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on November 03, 2019 in Austin, Texas. AFP PHOTO

“I am struggling with lots of different things and battling certain demons. When you look in the mirror each day, whether you feel good or you feel bad, there is always the darker side that’s trying to pull you down — and you constantly have to wake up.

“I look in the mirror each morning and I’m trying to lift myself up and say ‘you can do it. Yes, you are great’.”

In the aftermath of winning his fifth title in six years with Mercedes, Hamilton also revealed how much he missed his friend and mentor Niki Lauda, the three-time champion who was Mercedes non-executive chairman and died in May.

“I would say that I didn’t think it would hit me so hard, losing Niki,” said Hamilton. “I miss him dearly. I didn’t realise how much I loved the guy.”

Hamilton, now within reach of Schumacher’s records of seven championship wins and 91 Grand Prix victories, is due back in Britain for a team celebration at Mercedes headquarters at Brackley on Wednesday. The team this year won a record sixth consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championship double.

AFP

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