By Emmanuel Okara
Lewis Hamilton said he felt humbled to become a five times Formula One world champion on Sunday, and the enormity of his achievement had yet to sink in.
The Mercedes driver joined the late Argentine great, Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher, as the only men to win at least five titles after finishing fourth in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
“More people have walked on the moon than have won five crowns in a championship that started in 1950. Only Schumacher has won more than the man who could one day surpass even the German.
“Let me just try and realise that I’ve won this one,” commented Hamilton, when asked about Schumacher’s seven.
“It’s very, very weird. I remember when I won a championship in Formula Three, and even then, it didn’t register. I hope this kicks in soon; I definitely feel more excitement coming as I think about it more,” he added.
Hamilton has won 71 races, 20 fewer than Schumacher, and four titles for Mercedes in the past five years. The first was with McLaren in 2008.
In spite of coming to Mexico with a 70-point advantage and needing only to finish seventh to wrap things up, he expressed amazement at where he now found himself.
“Right now, I feel very, very humbled by the whole experience.
“It’s hard to realise it at the moment. It’s something that I dreamed of, but I never in a million years, thought that I would be standing here today as a five-time world champion,” he said.