He may have just won a British record fourth F1 world championship, but Lewis Hamilton has said that the challenge from his closest rivals will be greater next year.
In Max Verstappen, Red Bull have a future world champion, whilst Ferrari have a five-time world champion in the form of Sebastian Vettel.
It’s something Hamilton is aware of and in a candid interview with Autosport.com, the 32-year-old from Stevenage said he had to get better if he was going to stay on top.
"I want to be better next year,” the 32-year-old told Autosport.com.
"The challenge is going to be even bigger from Ferrari and Red Bull next year.
"Formula 1 doesn't sleep. It doesn't stand still. There is always someone there waiting to take my position.
"I've got Max sitting there waiting to take it.
"I've got to raise the game another level in order to stay ahead of him and that motivates me.
"There's my motivation already for next year."
Hamilton finished ninth in Mexico, but that was enough to take the world championship title away from the challenge of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
He was, however, overshadowed at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez by the performance of Belgian-Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, who finished an astonishing 19.678 seconds ahead of his nearest opponent Mercedes-AMG’s Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton heaped praise on the younger prodigy, and said that it was great to see Red Bull on the podium, whilst he hoped that the Red Bull gets a better engine for the next year.
"Max is an exceptional driver
"He drove fantastically and to see his racecraft at the start of the race was awesome.
"I was looking forward to having a battle with him and it is great to see Red Bull up there again and [Red Bull boss] Christian [Horner] came across to congratulate us, which is really welcomed.
"I hope they have a better engine next year and they are more in the fight.
"I think it would be great for the sport. You have a potential world champion in Max and he is only going to get stronger with age because he is a lot of raw talent.
"He has a long way to go but these wins are only adding to his great potential and I am looking forward to battling with that.
"Going down that straight three-abreast with two of the greatest drivers I have come across was...oh my god. I was so excited for the race today.
"I could have been nervous but I was just so excited about what could be at Turn 1. This little battle we had, which could be great, and I hope we have that again."
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