Lewis Hamilton says he considers losing out to Nico Rosberg in the final rounds of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship as a 'blessing' since it will ultimately spur him on to greater motivation for 2016.
The Mercedes driver clinched his third F1 world title in the United States with three rounds of the 2015 season, but proceeded to let the intensity dip thereafter with Rosberg winning the final events in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi in pole position.
Though Hamilton attempted to explain away the loss of momentum at the time as being down to changes made to the Mercedes, it was an excuse that was refuted by team manager Toto Wolff, who suggested his driver simply let his focus drop 'unconsciously'.
However, speaking ahead of this year's annual BBC Sport's Personality of the Year award ceremony, Hamilton says he is determined to use the defeats to his advantage and spur him on over the winter.
“I have started training for next season,” said Hamilton, who wasn't present for the ceremony in Belfast having travelled out to Colorado for winter training “I have got to lose three kilos for next season and absolutely it is my goal [to win a fourth title].
“The last three races in hindsight have been a real blessing because they have given me a lot of motivation. I feel great in the car so I will be working hard with the engineers so I can be as good as I can be.”
Missing out on the chance to become the first ever back-to-back winner of the BBC award after finishing fifth in the tele-vote behind winner Andy Murray, Kevin Sinfield, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Tyson Fury, Hamilton praised the work of his Mercedes team for their efforts en route to second straight F1 title.
“It's been an amazing year, a real blessing. The team has done an amazing job and it's been a great experience to be part of this team. There are so many people working lcosely together to elevate me to that third world championship.
“As with many of the great athletes there tonight it's about staying focused on that one principle and one goal, and that belief and confidence in yourself. It is team work in this sport. There are 1,300 people in my team so it is not just me, I am a small link in that long chain of people, and we must be our best at all times.”