Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Fernando Alonso says world champion Lewis Hamilton is 'one of the greatest'

Fernando Alonso says world champion Lewis Hamilton is 'one of the greatest'

A ninth-place finish was enough to see Hamilton crowned champion in Mexico City after a first lap collision with title rival Sebastian Vettel forced him to fight back through the field.

"It feels good walking into the paddock as a world champion", said Hamilton, who said he had received more than 300 messages of congratulation. If he does so once more he will be the first man to do so eight times in one campaign.

Hamilton reportedly got a $4.4 million Value-Added Tax refund in 2013 after his luxury private plane was imported into the Isle of Man. "So I come here with this greatest feeling, awesome energy, and want to absorb that positive energy and try to shine my light as bright as I can here in Brazil".

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In 2015, when he won his third title at the US Grand Prix, Hamilton finished second to his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, in the remaining three races, giving the German momentum going into 2016 - the year he won the championship.

Verstappen revelled in the challenge in the wet previous year and gained 10 positions in a daring drive to finish third and secure a podium finish at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace where Hamilton gained his first title with a passing move for McLaren at the final corner in 2008.

"It is not until the end of the season that my job is fully done", he said. What a year it has been, I have enjoyed every moment.

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The drivers' and constructors' championships have been decided in Mercedes' favour, but that does not mean there is nothing worth racing for at Interlagos this weekend.

"I have got these two races to go and I think this is a better time than ever to apply even more pressure, just because I can".

After the news conference, Hamilton autographed a miniature Mercedes with boyhood idol Ayrton Senna painted on it. "We will be trialling new and interesting concepts", says their press release.

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For his Mercedes team, it will be strictly business as usual in Brazil as they take the opportunity to use the final two races of the season as a chance to prepare the defence of their drivers' and constructors' crowns in 2018.

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