Lewis Hamilton: Fourth F1 title win would be 'greatest achievement'

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer at Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton 2015
Listen to 5 live F1's British Grand Prix preview on Friday at 20:00 BST
British Grand Prix
Date: 8-10 July Venue: Silverstone
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary across BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Lewis Hamilton says winning the world championship this year for a fourth time would be the "greatest achievement" of his career.

Hamilton is aiming for a third straight title with Mercedes but has been hit by problems that are likely to cause difficulties later in the year.

He said: "I think to myself every day: 'If you are to win this championship, you are going to have to dig deep.'

"And if you do it, it will feel greater than anything you have experienced."

Hamilton trails team-mate Nico Rosberg by 11 points heading into this weekend's British Grand Prix and was fastest in both sessions at Silverstone on Friday.

But engine problems, which left him down the grid in the early-season races in China and Russia, have meant he has used up more engine parts than planned by this stage of the year.

That means he is likely to receive grid penalties for using more than the permitted number of engine parts later in the season.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
Hamilton and Rosberg have crashed into one another twice this season

"I see it more down to the problems I have had," said Hamilton in an exclusive interview with BBC Radio 5 live. "If I had not had them, I might be in a different position.

"It has been a trying year, but there is no better time to have a difficult year than after two world championship years.

"I can only imagine it is going to get harder and harder."

He added: "Since I was eight years old, I have always believed I can win. I am not super-human.

Listen: Hamilton & Rosberg crash in Austria

"There is never a moment when I doubt my ability. There are weekends when I am not quick enough. But then there are things from outside that could affect the end result and I just remind myself that all I can be is the best I can be.

"All the other stuff is out of my control. It is choice for all of us. I choose to want to be as great as I can be. That is what spurs me forward."

Hamilton was 43 points behind Rosberg after the first four races of the year, all of which the German won.

He closed the gap to nine points with consecutive wins in Monaco and Canada, only for it to open again to 24 points after a poor weekend in Baku, Azerbaijan, where Rosberg won again.

Hamilton's victory in Austria last weekend followed a last-lap collision with Rosberg, for which the German was penalised.

The pair clash again in Barcelona in May
The pair clashed in Barcelona in May
spanish gpspanish gpspanish gp

It was the third time in five races the two Mercedes drivers had touched - and their second crash - and team boss Toto Wolff has told them they are on their "final warning".

If they crash again, they have been told, they risk "sporting and financial penalties", which are likely to mean hefty fines - perhaps running into the millions - and suspension from future races.

Hamilton said: "It depends how you interpret what is said. When I sit in the meeting, the first thing I say is: 'I am not going to stop being the racing driver. It is what you hired me to do, what I have grown to be.' Like Ayrton [Senna] said: 'If you are not going for a gap, you are no longer a racing driver.'

"They always say: 'We don't want you to change that. However, there are rules of engagement and the team. All these people, over a thousand people, rely on us to navigate through whatever personal goals we have in the right way so both cars finish.'"

He added: "The good thing is they have not told us we can't race. It is in our hands, which it was before, but there are bigger implications if we allow what has happened a few times now to happen again.

"I want to win in the right way and will do everything in my power to bring it home this weekend and this year and if it doesn't work out there is always next year."

Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.

Top Stories