Lewis Hamilton is to become the most decorated driver in Formula One history this season, if he becomes an eight time world champion across a mammoth 23-races.
However, even Hamilton had to admit keeping up a high level of consistency in the sport is hard work, and one of the “biggest challenges” of his career.
He’s known for smashing records, and 2020 may have been the year the Brit matched Michael Schumacher’s seven titles, but it’s also the year he overtook the German’s record for race wins.
The 36-year-old equalled Schumacher’s total of 91 wins at the Eifel Grand Prix, surpassing it in Portugal, finishing the season with 95 wins overall, another tally in the record books.
Since Hamilton started in Formula One as a McLaren rookie in 2007 he blasted onto the scene, already showing he was a force to be reckoned with, however heartbreak followed as he lost the title by a single point.
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Despite not winning in his first season due to a driver error at the Chinese GP, Hamilton did managed to make amends and snatch the title for McLaren in 2008 and with it became the youngest champion in the history of the sport at the age of 23, in one of the most dramatic ends to a championship to date in Brazil.
This level of consistency remained when he moved to Mercedes in 2014 – picking up a title in his first season with the Silver Arrows, as well as 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and of course 2020.
So how has he managed to maintain this level at the top of his game?
Hamilton said: “In terms of consistently coming back each year, that is one of the biggest challenges that any athlete in the world faces.
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“But the goal is always to try and improve, and not drop the ball in other areas you’re strong at. Focus on the weak areas, whilst keeping the others still strong, and I can tell you it’s definitely not an easy task.
“There have been times when I could improve in some areas, but other areas have dipped a bit.
“A lot of it is also collaboration, working with your engineers, just challenging your engineers and having them challenge you and raise areas where they can see better ways of working together.
“Goes back to energy levels, fitness and mental health. There are all these really important key factors and elements you have to try and have firing on all cylinders.
“Naturally we’re on the edge as athletes and competitors being in competition, we’re on the edge all the time and so that’s a very difficult balance to strike.”
Now, Hamilton goes into his 15th year in Formula One with few records left to break, and opting for just a one year contract with Mercedes.