Lewis Hamilton has explained how he stays motivated despite being at the pinnacle of his F1 career. The Brit drew level with Michael Schumacher’s seven world titles this year and can comfortably beat the rest of the grid on any given day.
Max Verstappen has come the closest to challenging Hamilton for the Drivers’ Championship but his Red Bull is much inferior than their Mercedes rivals.
Hamilton could be forgiven for taking his foot off the gas and shifting himself into cruise control.
However, the 35-year-old is determined to continue giving it his all to ensure his rivals do not creep up on him.
“I could just sit back on my world titles and think: ‘I’m pretty good’. But that’s not how my mind works,” Hamilton told motorsport.com.
“My mind is: ‘Geez, these guys are chasing me, how do I stay ahead? How do I help push the team to stay ahead?’
“That’s a really big process, because we can go down the wrong road if we rest on our laurels. It’s definitely not easy, but who’d want it easy?”
He added: “I’d be lying if I was to say I wasn’t improving. I mean, if I weren’t getting the results, and then perhaps it wouldn’t be improving, but I can’t stay still.
“This sport doesn’t stay still, technology is constantly evolving.
“There’s an under-appreciated workload that goes on for the people in the background – and for the drivers in terms of interpreting the tools that we have.
“The detail to which we go to try and adjust small things – a millimetre here, half a millimetre there of ride, for the shift of the front end, whatever it may be.
“Each year, I get this new set of tools and have to study – like anybody has to study – to be on top of those things [and] try to be ahead of the [other] drivers.”
Although Hamilton has almost broken every F1 record, there is still on key objective he wants to achieve.
“The only real target left, I would say, is… the real main target: why I’m doing the Hamilton Commission [which Lewis is creating with the Royal Academy of Engineering, to identify key barriers to recruitment and progression of black people in UK motorsport, and how to overcome them],” he said.
“It’s to try to leave this place with changes that will make it a more diverse sport.
“So, if I come in 5-10 years time I won’t be the only person of colour in this sport and it will be more diverse. Hopefully these teams will be more diverse and continue to progress.”