Hamilton: Turkish GP win proves 'I deserve my respect'

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Lewis Hamilton believes his victory at the Turkish Grand Prix shows he "deserves his respect" as a seven-time Formula 1 champion.

The Mercedes driver conquered the wet, slippery conditions better than anyone at Istanbul Park, as he wore a set of intermediates down to a slick tyre on the drying track.

And despite not being a fan of the new surface, which he claimed on Friday had ruined the challenge of the circuit, Hamilton admits the lack of grip had allowed him to show off his talent.

“I want more of these weekends, more tricky conditions like this. The more opportunities like this, the more I’m able to show what I’m able to do," he said.

“I think today hopefully you can see… I think I deserve my respect.

"I think I have that with my peers. I think they can see how hard… they will know how hard today is, particularly that it is not a car thing.”

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Indeed, on the day he matched Michael Schumacher's record for the most F1 world titles, Hamilton tried to dispel the argument made by many of his critics...

That his success has only been possible because he has the fastest, most dominant car for the past seven seasons. 

“I do notice that there are these interesting comments from past drivers, particularly,” said Hamilton.

“I really, really promise you, and hope that I stand by my word, when I stop in 10, 20 years from now and look back, I want to be embracing and encouraging the next youngsters that are here, whether it’s Lando [Norris], whether its George [Russell], whoever it may be, whether it’s Max [Verstappen].

“I know how hard it is to do the job and I know how this world works.

“Of course you have to have a good team and of course you have to have a great car. There is no driver that’s ever won – really won – the Championship in the past without it.

“So, of course, you’ve got to have the equipment, of course you’ve got to have it and that’s something that will always be in this sport.

“But then it’s also what you do with it that really also counts – and hopefully you can see that today.”

Commenting on Hamilton's victory, F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn agreed that Sunday highlighted why he is deserving of his success.

“Massive congratulations to Lewis. He showed why he is such an exceptional talent," he wrote in his Formula1.com column.

“I’m always engaged by the running commentary from Lewis during the race on team radio, suggesting things aren’t going well, which is always entertaining – but he always delivers.

“In Turkey, despite his Mercedes team struggling for pace all weekend on a slippery surface in cold conditions, he stayed patient in the race, strategized and pushed when needed to.

“He got the tyres working when no one else could. It was the perfect demonstration of what he is – a seven-time world champion, equalling Michael’s record.”