2014 Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has said that his second title will take his racing career another step forward as well as aiding his upcoming contract negotiations with Mercedes.
Hamilton clinched his second title in Abu Dhabi last weekend, defeating teammate Nico Rosberg by 67 points in the final standings.
However, in an interview with BBC Radio 1 back in the UK, the Briton revealed that the morning before the race was far from comfortable after a restless night ahead of the championship showdown.
“It was the worst,” Hamilton said. “Generally through the season it’s very intense. It’s very hard to keep your mind focused. Most of the time, particularly throughout the weekend, you’re getting more and more nervous. You’re getting butterflies on Sunday before you get in the car.
“This time, I woke up, I couldn’t sleep, I slept for four hours. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind in the morning, all the different things that could happen. Then I went for a run, which I’ve never done on the Sunday before a race. I came back, had a massage, had breakfast, then my family surprised me which was amazing.
“Then I went to the track, and for the first Sunday of the whole year, I felt the most relaxed for some reason. I was thinking: ‘Something’s not right. I’m gonna make a mistake today.’ I got in the car and drove one of the best races I had done all year.”
Hamilton said that having a second title to his name will take his career another step forward, and will only help talks with Mercedes about extending his contract beyond 2015.
“It changes things in the sense that if I came from the last race and hadn’t won, I’ll always be a one-time champion which is good, so you always ride that wave, and there were good wins,” Hamilton said.
“But having that second championship, it’s like you take another step forward. It’s a positive thing. There’s talks and negotiations, all those things that come forward, so it only means well for those. I love racing, so I can see myself going for some time.”
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Hamilton on the radio show. Host Nick Grimshaw played the F1 champion a series of snippets from music tracks that he had to name, but he failed to recognize girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger’s record “Scream”.
“I’m gonna kill you man!” Hamilton said, laughing. “I can’t believe you did that to me! When I get home… I don’t know what I’m gonna get when I get home…”
His music knowledge may need a bit of work, but there is no denying that Lewis Hamilton is on top of the racing world at the moment.