Lewis Hamilton says he doesn't feel like he is going for his second world title and admits his reaction was one of relief when he won in 2008.
Having missed out on the championship at the final race of the season in his debut year – having been leading heading in to the last round – Hamilton took his only world title to date in Brazil six years ago. With this year's championship likely to be won by one of the Mercedes drivers, Hamilton says he feels like he's trying to win his first title again and concedes he is afraid of failing.
“I know I've been there before because I'm going for my second Championship but it feels like I'm going for my first,” Hamilton said when speaking as part of the Forever Faster campaign by Mercedes team partner PUMA. “It really does. It doesn't feel like I've had one already and I've experienced it. Every race is different and every season is a new experience. Every Sunday you feel different, every start you feel different.
“When you win a championship, for me it was a relief, because you worry all year, you think about it non-stop. The only fear is failure, you know? And so when you do win, you just kind of think, 'Oh thank God for that and go relax now'. It's not all 'Yeah, yeah I won, I won! It's the greatest thing!'”
And Hamilton appeared to acknowledge the importance to making the most of any title opportunities when asked for a driver from his career he most admires, selecting one whose own F1 career was cut short by injury.
“I've always admired Ayrton Senna from a distance before I was in the sport. But one of the best drivers I drove against was Robert Kubica, he was truly phenomenal.”