Lewis Hamilton says with the pressure of securing the Formula 1 World Championship gone he will approach the final three races of the season with full force, beginning this weekend at the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver claimed his third F1 crown in Austin last weekend with three Grand Prixs to spare in 2015 – the first time the Brit has been able to enjoy an F1 race having already claimed top honours. Heading into the unique situation the 30-year-old feels he has 'nothing to lose' so will go all out for victory in Mexico.
“I can attack the final three races now with nothing to prove and nothing to lose, so the aim is absolutely to put my name down as the first Mexican Grand Prix winner of the modern era,” Hamilton said. “After the Ushanka style hats we had on the podium in Russia and the Stetsons in America, I'm definitely hoping for a massive sombrero if I make it onto the podium.”
Reflecting on his title-clinching win in the United States Grand Prix, Hamilton says the memories still haven't properly sunk in yet.
The reigning F1 champion profited from his team-mate Nico Rosberg's mistake in the closing stages where he slipped off the circuit to hand Hamilton the lead and ultimately his third F1 title.
“Sunday in Austin is all a bit of a blur,” Hamilton said. “The race was so, so crazy and it wasn't until a few moments after I crossed the line that I realised that I'd done it. To be honest, it still hasn't quite settled in. To match Ayrton in winning three titles was always a big ambition of mine and it just doesn't feel real.
“I can't express how grateful I am to everyone who made it possible - from my family to the team at the track and everyone back at the factories. I couldn't have done this without each and every one of them. Now, I'm even more pumped to get to Mexico.”
Hamilton is expecting a jubilant atmosphere at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as he looks to celebrate his and Mercedes' three titles – drivers', teams' and manufacturers' – in style this weekend.
“For many of us in the paddock it's a new Grand Prix venue, and experiencing a new city and a new track is always exciting,” he added. “Formula One has been racing in South America at the Brazilian Grand Prix throughout my career and the atmosphere there is just insane - plus we see thousands of Mexican fans every year in Austin.
“If they're anything to go by the crowds will be fantastic, so I'm really looking forward to seeing them all out there making plenty of noise.”