Lewis Hamilton has admitted that recent comments from F1’s CEO Stefano Domenicali has given him “more drive” to “win some more races” to further extend his achievements in the record books.
Hamilton has been smashing records since the day he arrived in Formula One back in 2007 for McLaren, and has gone on to accumulate 100 wins, the most any driver has achieved in F1.
The Briton also has the most pole positions and podiums, as well as equalling Michael Schumacher for championship titles with seven to his name.
Now in pursuit of an eighth, he would become the most decorated driver in Formula One history, if he can beat main title rival Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Despite his unmatched success, Domenicali told Sky Sports F1: “We thought Michael Schumacher’s records could not be surpassed, but Lewis succeeded.
Similarly, I believe Hamilton’s number of wins will be beaten in the future, that’s the beauty of the sport.
“I’m sure Michael has been a great reference for Lewis and that Lewis will be a great reference for the other drivers in the future. I have incredible respect for what he has been able to accomplish.”
Hamilton and Mercedes have dominated the championship since the start of the turbo-hybrid era, racking up six of his world titles with the British-based German team.
The 36-year-old was only once beaten in 2016 by his then team-mate Nico Rosberg, who promptly retired shortly after to concentrate on spending time with his family.
And Hamilton insists he wants to win more titles and set more records in the twilight years of his glittering F1 career.
“For sure, for sure, it’s crazy to think that I have that many wins, it’s crazy to think we have these Championships,” he said to Channel 4.
“I’m still super driven, I heard Stefano Domenicali said someone is going to break my records at some stage, which is totally expected, records are there to be broken.
But then I was like ‘I better win some more races’ [laughs], so then it just gave me more drive, I’ve got to get back out there and just keep pushing.”
With just six races remaining, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added that Hamilton and the team are feeling confident ahead of the United States Grand Prix, but believes that the championship will go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.
“I don’t think you can say that with absolute conviction,” remarked Wolff. “I believe we have a really good package now.
“The car is competitive and was very competitive [in Turkey] and if it wasn’t for a grid penalty I think we would have had every chance to finish first and second.
“That would have meant eight points more but I’m looking carefully optimistic into the future.”
Hamilton holds the record for most wins around the Circuit of the Americas with six victories to his name, with Verstappen leading the way by six points in the driver standings.
To add more concerns for Red Bull, his team-mate Bottas was the most recent winner in 2019, with 2020 cancelled due to the global pandemic.
Wolff added: “Austin [for the United States Grand Prix] is a track we like and is another opportunity but I’m under no illusion this is very much going to go to the end in the drivers’ championship.”