Six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed what he reckons were the key factors behind “the best season of my life”.

Hamilton claimed 11 victories en route to beating Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to the 2019 drivers’ crown by 87 points as the German manufacturer became the first team in history to win six consecutive double world championships.

Speaking at last week’s FIA prize giving gala in Paris, Hamilton praised the support he has received from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who has enabled Hamilton the freedom to pursue other interests outside of motorsport.

“For me this has definitely been the best season of my life,” Hamilton said. 

“I've enjoyed collaborating with this incredible team. Fighting hard with Valtteri and a lot of these up and coming drivers this year has been fantastic.

“But honestly as a whole I just think outside with my family and being able to do the things that Toto has allowed me to do - because most people question that I shouldn't be doing some of the things I do.

“But they all encourage me and push me forward in what I do.”

Hamilton believes his season was just as strong as 2018 but felt he made the difference in races, with eight of his victories coming when he was not on pole position.

“I think the season on a whole was as strong as the last [2018] from what I can remember,” he explained.

“Qualifying wasn’t as strong this year but I was still qualifying on the front row and top three often and splitting the Ferraris when they all of a sudden had 30bhp more than everyone.

“I think qualifying was still good but it was a harder car to drive this year. But the races were particularly strong and I think those are really where the championship was won.

“I think more from the outside just being happier in the collaboration with the team in terms of our teamwork, the doors that had opened in terms of doing the fashion,” he added.

“There’s also been quite a few people we’ve lost this year so it’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster from race to Monaco, to Spa, which were quite big, big dents in the motorsport world and I think everyone struggled with it.”

The Briton said he is approaching 2020 as a “blank slate” and feels the “number 1 is there up for grabs” as he bids to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven world championships.

“My guys back in the UK are working flat out to make sure that we come out with a great car next year,” Hamilton said. “When we started this season our car was actually a real heap to drive.

“It wasn't that great to drive at the beginning through testing, we couldn't quite get it in the window and it wasn't until the last day that we managed to get it to work and we obviously went into the first races and we already had some great results.

“But next year is going to be close, the Red Bulls with Max, they've been doing fantastic. The Ferraris have picked up and their pace has been extraordinary, particularly in the second half of the season.

“I'm hoping for everyone that is watching that you are going to see the closest season yet.”

 

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