Lewis Hamilton won his sixth F1 world title on Sunday with a second place finish at the United States Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton says that despite his easy F1 world title win, it’s been the ‘hardest year’ for Mercedes following the death of racing legend Niki Lauda.
Laura, a team member of Mercedes and three-time F1 champion, passed away earlier this year following an illness.
His death rocked the the F1 world and in particular, team Mercedes and Hamilton, who won a sixth world championship on Sunday with a second place finish in the United States Grand Prix in Texas.
Hamilton only needed to finish eighth in order to clinch a third straight title.
And after his win, he spoke of the tough year that his team have had trying to navigate their way to another world title, despite the death of Lauda.
“No way has it been the easiest,” the Brit said.
“It’s been the hardest year for us and the team. We lost Niki this year, a crucial and pivotal member of this team.
“The emotional rollercoaster that we’ve been on with losing him, and I didn’t have Bono here for a race.
“Outside of the car, just trying to remain focused throughout the year, that is the toughest – and I guess only other athletes at the top of their game can relate to it properly.
“To arrive weekend in, weekend out, can’t drop the ball like I did yesterday for example, and being able to bounce back from the lower days.
“This car has not been easy for us. We started the season going to Melbourne thinking we were going to be behind.
“At the mid-point of the season we were behind, it’s been a real challenge this second half of the season.
“I think it’s the toughest second half of the season that we’ve had as a team, fighting against Ferrari and Red Bull. We welcome that.”
Hamilton’s win puts him just one behind Michael Schumacher in the all-time standings for f1 world title victories.