Lewis Hamilton won his fourth Formula 1 title in Mexico last weekend, making him the most decorated British driver in history.
The 32-year-old Mercedes star named 20-year-old Mexican Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen as his motivation for improving next year.
“Max is really the brightest young star that we’ve seen for some time,” said Hamilton. “And I hope that in his early era I can be a good force and a good battle for him.
“I want to be better next year. Formula One doesn’t sleep. It doesn’t stand still. There is always someone waiting to take my position, so I have to raise the game to another level and to stay ahead. That’s my motivation for next year.”
Only Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have won more Grand Prix than the 20-year-old Red Bull driver this season.
The hugely talented Dutchman made his F1 debut for Toro Rosso at the age of just 17 and became the youngest ever winner of a Grand Prix at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix - his debut race for Red Bull Racing.
Verstappen named the two reasons he believes Hamilton was crowned champion with three races to spare.
"I mean, a lot about it is the whole package," Verstappen told The Drive. "Of course, he has been in the best car for three years now, so that helps a lot.
"That doesn’t take anything away from Lewis, because he’s a very talented driver. He’s naturally gifted. That’s the difference compared to his teammates, for example, that’s why he’s winning the championships. He’s better than everyone around him.
"Hopefully, next year we will have at least a similar package so I can take up the challenge, but we have to wait and see."
The best driver in the best car - it's no wonder Hamilton has won the drivers' championship in three of the past four years.
Hamilton was famously pipped to the title in a dramatic final race by former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in 2016.
Rosberg retired after the race and was replaced by Valtteri Bottas, who enjoys a far more amicable relationship with Hamilton.
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