A relentless Lewis Hamilton wished he could “keep going” in F1 2019 after an emphatic season-ending victory in the Abu Dhabi GP – and said it was a “privilege” to be racing against the sport’s emerging young stars.
Hamilton produced a serene and dominant performance to claim the 11th win of a year in which he has clinched his sixth world championship and moved closer to the sport’s most significant all-time records.
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Mercedes’ stranglehold on F1’s top positions has come under increasing threat in the second half of the season, but the season’s final chapter proved a one-way affair – with Hamilton untouchable up front.
“I feel fresh and ready to keep going – I wish I could keep going!” the world champion told Sky Sports F1.
“What a way to end the season. As a team as a whole, just so strong. Valtteri (Bottas) did a great job as well. Just so grateful to everyone’s hard work this year and dedication and raising the bar. I would say, even more so, that the support has been just unbelievable. Really, really overwhelming.
“So a big thank you for everyone back home and those travelling supporting me.”
Although not challenged for victory on this occasion, Hamilton shared the season’s final podium with two of the drivers tipped to eventually become world champions themselves – Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton, who will be the second-oldest driver on the 2020 grid, is relishing what he expects to be a growing challenge from the next generation.
“There’s a lot of youngsters coming through and, if you look at the grid, from second to seventh or eighth was all super youngsters,” said Hamilton, who turns 35 in January.