Lewis Hamilton’s second World Championship was decided in the final race of the 2014 season in Abu Dhabi. And in 2008, his first World Championship was decided in the final corner at Interlagos.
But despite having cut it close twice before attaining Formula One’s ultimate glory, the Mercedes man hopes his third World Championship – if and/or when it comes – doesn’t involve him cruising to the title.
“I don’t think you ever want to have it easy,” Hamilton said Friday in Doha, Qatar during the FIA’s year-end Prize Giving Ceremony. “You always want to have a fight. Easy championships, I don’t know, they’re just not as…You want that climax.
“Obviously in the last race, it was a climax – going into the last race. Obviously [Nico Rosberg’s] car had an issue, so then from halfway through the race, the pressure was different to having to defend in the race. But still, throughout the whole year, just trying to keep your cool, stay focused and all those kinds of things. It was great.”
Now, Hamilton will try to do with the Silver Arrows what he couldn’t do with McLaren in 2009 – stay at the head of the pack. That particular season saw Hamilton slip to fifth in the standings partly due to first-half difficulties with the MP4-24 machine.
But with next year’s regulations more or less being, as Hamilton put it himself, an “evolution” from this year, he hopes to be in contention again versus stiff competition from inside his team with Nico Rosberg and outside Mercedes as well.
“The good thing about this period of time in Formula One is that when I won the championship in 2008, the following year, we had a year like this with some new rules and regulations and as a team, we didn’t do a good job to adapt to that, so I didn’t have a chance to fight to keep my championship,” Hamilton explained.
“Next year will be an evolution of this year’s car so I’m hoping that we’ll be at least able to fight. Nico’s going to come back stronger and I’ll have to make sure I come back even stronger to stay ahead of him.
“You know Daniel Ricciardo has been doing an amazing job, it will be interesting to see what Fernando [Alonso] does in his car. It’s very difficult to know, but I don’t particularly care who’s behind. You don’t care, do you? You just want to look ahead.”