The seven-time world champion heads into the final two races of the season trailing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by eight points as their intense title battle which has raged all year finally reaches its climax. 

Verstappen could be crowned world champion at the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, however, it appears more likely the fight will go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi finale next weekend. 

Asked whether winning this year’s championship would be his most significant and meaningful triumph to date, Hamilton replied: “It would be yeah. 

“It would be something that no one’s ever done before. It’s been against the toughest battle that the sport has seen in a long, long time. And the most challenging.

“So, I think collectively it would be. Plus, we’re in a pandemic, with all sorts of things that we’ve been faced with.”

And Hamilton said he is in a good place heading into his latest title showdown. 

“I’m more relaxed than I’ve ever been,” the 36-year-old Briton explained. “I think because I’ve just been around a long time. It’s not my first.

“I remember how it was, my first championship, and even my second and third, the sleepless nights and all those sorts of things. Obviously I’m a lot more sure about myself and just applying myself better than ever before.

“So I know I can’t change anything from the past. All I can do is prepare the best I can for what’s ahead of me and I one hundred percent know I have.”

3007785.0064.jpg

Back-to-back wins in Brazil and Qatar have left senior members at Mercedes convinced Hamilton has unlocked a new-found performance level in response to adversity he faced at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix

Hamilton produced one of his greatest ever drives in Brazil by pulling off a comeback victory despite starting sprint qualifying from the back of the grid, and the grand prix itself from 10th. 

“I don’t believe that I’ve gone to a different level,” Hamilton said. “Maybe I tapped into something different in Brazil that’s not been there before. 

“I definitely have in my career because I’ve come back from those positions many times before, but I like to think that I’ve been delivering well all year. 

“But you constantly learn. You’re learning more about everything, whether that’s just certain things on the car and how you work with the team.

“It’s not just for me, it’s been the engineers it’s been the mechanics, it’s absolutely every individual in the team has pulled out more. And this is what’s needed.

“We need always need more, we need more performance, we need more focus, we need more power and strength and to work collectively.”