David Coulthard: 'Exceptional' Lewis Hamilton should be celebrated more

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David Coulthard has stated his belief that Lewis Hamilton is under-appreciated as a driver, after his fellow compatriot wrapped up his fifth Drivers' Championship title of his career.

Hamilton has dominated Formula One in recent years, winning four out of the last five world titles up for grabs, and losing out only to fellow Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg in 2016. 

The Stevenage-born racer has impressed many over the past two seasons with his incredible consistency, whilst fellow title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas both struggled with a serious of high-profile errors and reliability issues.

Despite his near-unprecedented success, however, Hamilton now sits second only to Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher in the leaderboard for total tiles won (7).

Former driver, and 13-time Grand Prix winning David Coulthard believes the former McLaren driver is under-appreciated. 

"There's no question he's an exceptional driver," Coulthard told BBC Sport in an exclusive interview.

"He can be divisive, but whether you like his personality or like his lifestyle, you have to recognise he is an iconic and successful British racing driver, and we should be celebrating that more. 

"I think we're quite shy about our success in the UK.

"If we look at America, they just had their World Series in baseball. It's a domestic championship, but they talk about it like it's the world.

Red Bull Racing Formula One Donut

"We don't really celebrate how good we are across the board. We're good at what we do, not just in Motorsport, and we need to shout about it more."

Whilst Hamilton has witnessed incredible success since his at-the-time-controversial switch to Mercedes in 2013, his former McLaren team - alongside Coulthard's own former team Williams - have witnessed limited success, with both lagging behind the so called 'big three' of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. 

"By using the same ingredients, you are going to get the same cake every time.

"It's confusing and disappointing to see the difficulty they [McLaren and Williams] have gone through. Success comes from the people, not the name on the door.

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"It isn't self sustaining and it is all about the people involved at any given period. Clearly, both those teams have not been able to energise, reinvent, and attract young talent, and that is what they have to focus on."

McLaren currently sit sixth in the Constructors' Championship after yet another disappointing season for the motorsport heavyweights, whilst Williams sit dead last in the standings after a series of pace and reliability issues. 

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