Lewis Hamilton believes he is capable of continuing to win in F1 “for a long time” as he starts to plot the next phase of his career fresh from winning his fourth world title.
Hamilton’s first race as a four-time champion comes in Sunday’s Brazilian GP, with the Mercedes driver set to start as favourite for pole position and victory after a near-flawless performance in Friday practice saw him top both sessions.
Having now exceeded his career target of winning three titles to match his hero Ayrton Senna, Hamilton says he just wants to continue winning races – knowing every fresh success will bring him ever closer to Michael Schumacher’s all-time mark of 91 victories.
“I think I can continue winning for a long, long time,” said Hamilton, who goes in search of his 63rd career win in Sunday’s Interlagos race live only on Sky Sports F1 at 4pm. Qualifying begins at the same time on Saturday.
“I guess ultimately it depends if the fight remains within me.
Hamilton's one worrying moment in Brazil Friday practice when Nico Hulkenberg squeezed him onto the grass
“It is there now but I still don’t really have the desire to chase Michael, although I’m a lot closer than I ever was.
“I think before it felt so distant getting 91 wins and now, it’s still a long way off, but it’s not impossible to think I could potentially get somewhere near.”
Hamilton expects close battle
When’s the Brazilian GP on Sky Sports?
The F1 Gossip Column
Only Schumacher and 1950s great Juan-Manuel Fangio have won more world titles in F1 history than Hamilton, while the Englishman took the sport’s pole position and front-row records earlier this season.
He is also second to Schumacher for wins and podium finishes.
“I’m really just grateful to be up there amongst the real, real greats,” said Hamilton, who is now Britain’s most successful F1 driver outright.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was crowned World Champion for a 4th time at the Mexican GP to become the most successful British driver of all time.
“Not only amongst them but standing up there with them with the four titles, with the pole positions [record], and that’s something I’m really, really proud.”
Hamilton, who turns 33 in January and has been in the sport since 2007, has one more season left on his current Mercedes deal but is expected to agree an extended term for at least an additional two years.
“I’ve got at least one more year in me – probably more – and have every plan to win more races, so we’ll see how it goes,” he added.
BRAZILIAN GP SCHEDULE – LIVE ON SKY SPORTS F1
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 11
12.45pm – Brazilian GP Practice Three build-up
1pm – Brazilian GP Practice Three LIVE!
3pm – Brazilian GP Qualifying build-up
4pm – Brazilian GP Qualifying LIVE!
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 12
2.30pm – Brazilian GP Track Parade LIVE!
3pm – Brazilian GP Pit Lane LIVE!
3.30pm – Brazilian GP Race Build-up LIVE!
4pm – THE BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX LIVE!
6.30pm – Brazilian GP Paddock LIVE!
The 2017 title race may be over, but the racing definitely isn’t! Get set for Mercedes v Ferrari v Red Bull in the Brazilian GP LIVE ONLY on Sky Sports F1. The race begins at 4pm on Sunday. Want to watch but not got Sky F1? Buy a NOW TV pass from £6.99!
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