Lewis Hamilton says he can still improve and sets sights on F1 2019
Hamilton will not unwind until Christmas but is "always thinking" of ways he can improve; World champion will be aiming for sixth title
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 22/11/18 10:25am
Lewis Hamilton insists he can still improve as a driver and is already thinking about how he and Mercedes can be stronger next year.
Hamilton clinched his fifth world championship in 2018 and it has arguably been the Englishman's most complete season yet - fighting off a huge challenge from Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari, and barely making a mistake.
But while Hamilton claims his historic achievements will start to sink in over the winter break, he is already setting himself, and his Mercedes team, goals for next year.
"I've not had time to really unwind and let off," Hamilton admitted in Brazil, after Mercedes sealed their fifth consecutive constructors' title.
"I think that's something that will happen over Christmas, but then it doesn't stop there. Where can you improve?
"I'm always thinking how can I improve as a driver? What can we improve as a team?"
Mercedes are expecting renewed battles with Ferrari and the Honda-powered Red Bull in F1 2019, and team boss Toto Wolff is adamant that the race for a sixth crown will be much more difficult.
Hamilton, meanwhile, gave a rousing speech when addressing Mercedes employees at the team's Brackley celebrations last week.
"I'm going to try and think how the first half of our season could have been stronger," he said.
"How do we make sure we start stronger, and then finish off as strong as we did?
"Please try and think how you can be better individually, and together with the guys you are working next to. Because that's what I'm trying to think of; how I can deliver more for you next year.
"So, when they bring more power, and more energy, we bring even more."
Mercedes can 'go for broke' in Abu Dhabi
They may have already sealed this year's championship, but Wolff insists Mercedes have no plans to lift off at this weekend's season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.
"The celebrations in Brixworth and Brackley last week were a very humbling experience," said the Mercedes boss.
"Claiming the fifth consecutive double championship - an experience that only very few people in the sport have had before - felt amazing and we all cherished that moment.
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"At the same time, everyone is extremely keen to continue to raise the bar together and be even stronger in 2019.
"The championship pressure is off, so we can look at this as one race where we can really go for broke.
"We know, too, that it will be a tough battle because both Red Bull and Ferrari will have the same target of taking good momentum into the winter."
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