Lewis Hamilton says it is an “overwhelming” feeling to have been crowned a six-time Formula 1 world champion at the United States Grand Prix.

Hamilton, needed to score just four points to wrap up his sixth drivers world title in Austin, recovered from fifth on the grid to claim a second-place finish behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, whose victory was not enough to delay Hamilton’s coronation.

The 34-year-old Briton has moved ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio as just the second driver in F1 history to win six or more titles. He is now just one title shy from matching Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world championships.

“It’s just overwhelming if I’m really honest,” Hamilton said.

“It was such a tough race today. Yesterday was a really difficult day for us and Valtteri did a fantastic job so a huge congratulations to him.

“Today I really just wanted to recover and deliver the one-two for the team and I didn’t think the one stop would be possible but I worked as hard as I could.

“My dad told me when I was six or seven years old never to give up and that’s kind of the family motto.

“I was pushing as hard as I could and I was hopeful I might be able to get the win today but I didn’t have it in the tyres unfortunately.

“I feel so much emotion, it’s an honour to be up there with those greats.”

Asked to expand on his emotions, Hamilton said he is above cloud nine and paid tribute to the influence the late ex-Mercedes non executive chairman Niki Lauda had on his success.

“Right now it’s hard to understand what I’m feeling right now,” he explained.

“Naturally it’s just pure happiness. I feel more humble than ever. I saw my parents as I came in and just looking at my dad’s smile just says it all.

“He’s supported my from day one, as did Linda [step mum], as did my mum and they worked so hard for me to be here today. So I really wanted them to come out together.

“I think this is the first race I can remember for a long, long time of us being here together and all being united as a family.

“Cloud nine doesn’t even get close to where I am. I’m somewhere far above that and I’m just really grateful to everyone back at the factory, everyone who has supported me this year within the team, who have worked so hard to enable us to do what we do.

“It’s such a privilege and an honour to work for this team and to have the platform to put performances in like that today.

“I miss Niki so much and I know today that he would be taking his cap off. Yesterday he would have bee saying he’s paying me too much but today he would have taken his cap off and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without Niki. He’s here with us in spirit.”

 

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