'Proud' Hamilton focused on being 'pitch-perfect' during Abu Dhabi GP

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Despite a dominant lead in the season finale, Lewis Hamilton admits he was focused on perfection during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The world champion led every lap at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday, crossing the line by over 16 seconds from Max Verstappen as Mercedes continued their now six-year winning streak in the UAE.

And he paid tribute to the Brackley-based outfit after his 84th career win.

“I think today’s race was a really great race for me, just very consistent, no mistakes and the team did a great job as well,” Hamilton said.

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“I'm proud and super grateful for this incredible team, who continued to push this year. Even though we had the championship won, just really wanted to keep our head down and trying to extract more from this beautiful car - it's a piece of art.

“We’re continuing to work hard, even after we’ve won the championship. It’s inspiring for me to see the guys continue to push.”

At the end of a long year, you might forgive Hamilton for simply enjoying the experience under the lights in Abu Dhabi, but his approach was anything but.

“I don’t think I was thinking of anything else except being pitch-perfect through the race. When you’re out in front like that, it’s easy to drop the ball,” he explained.

“I think of people who have been there before me, I think of things I have done in the past, I was just trying to be pitch-perfect, each corner, beat, rhythm, rhythm, rhythm, and not let it stop.

“I was looking for that perfect execution, and I think I got as close to it as I could today. Really, really happy. But now I can lean back a little bit and start thinking about the future.”

 

And that future is seeing off the growing threat from Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, who finished behind Hamilton on the podium.

“These guys, there's a lot of youngsters coming through, if you look at the grid, from second to seventh or eighth was super youngsters,” he continued.

“I'm proud to be around in a time with such great youngsters and people coming through and I'm looking forward to some more close battles with them in the future.”

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