Lewis Hamilton has cemented his place among Formula 1 royalty after adding a fifth world title to his 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2017 triumphs.
The 33-year-old got the job done last weekend at the Mexico Grand Prix, where fourth place was enough to kill off any chance of Sebastian Vettel somehow reentering contention.
Hamilton is now level with Juan Manuel Fangio in terms of all-time championships but remains two behind the great Michael Schumacher.
The German also boasts 20 race wins and 23 podium finishes more than his British counterpart, so there’s still some daylight between the pair.
Hamilton - whose renewed contract ties him to Mercedes until the end of the 2020 season - could yet catch the Ferrari legend, though insists it doesn’t fuel his determination.
“I was just really not trying to take anything for granted,” he said, per motorsport.com.
“The way I’ve always approached it is I’ve just been really thankful for the ones I have.
“I’m very, very fortunate to be up here now, obviously with more than most people have, and I don’t take that for granted.
“Whether or not I’m going to have the chance to win more, who knows? I’m going to give it everything to do so.
“The 91 wins that he [Schumacher] has, for example, that’s a lot of wins. There’s still a long way to go but I’m here for a few more years, so I’m hoping that I can at least get close.”
Regarding the question of his status among the all-time greats, Hamilton said he could “never, ever personally classify myself as the best”.
“Michael’s still quite far ahead in race wins so you have to say he is still the GOAT.
“Fangio, I think, is the godfather and always will be, from a driver’s perspective. To do what he did at that time, when everything was so dangerous, my respect is so high for him.
"I feel very honoured to have my name alongside his. If I stopped today, the Hamilton name will always be there.
“I feel like I’m still driving with that fierce fire that I had when I was eight years old, which I love.”
With at least two years left in Formula 1, Hamilton has time on his side if he wants to match Schumacher.
However, the task of surpassing those records could force him to drive beyond his 35th birthday, at Mercedes or elsewhere.
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