Lewis Hamilton sets his sights on beating Ayrton Senna's Formula 1 record
Lewis Hamilton says it would be an “honour” to match the victory tally of his Formula 1 idol Ayrton Senna, but admits he wants to better the le...
Lewis Hamilton says it would be an “honour” to match the victory tally of his Formula 1 idol Ayrton Senna, but admits he wants to better the legendary Brazilian’s record.
Hamilton will equal Senna's record of 41 wins in 161 GP starts if he wins in Singapore next week. The 30 year old idolised Senna as a child and even raced with a Senna tribute helmet for most of his junior career and into his early F1 years. He will equal Senna's three world titles if he holds on to his championship lead to the conclusion of this season.
Speaking to Gazetta Dello Sport at an event in Milan for Mercedes' partner Petronas, Hamilton explained that after he moved to 40 F1 wins at the Italian Grand Prix he wants to go on and beat his hero’s achievements.
He said: “I watched [Senna] as a child and it would be an honour to match him. Now I'm just one GP win away [from Senna’s record] but I hope to do even better. [But] never forget that if he were alive he would have won a lot more.”
The reigning champion revealed that F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has compared his achievements, charisma and value to the sport to nine-time motorcycle world champion, Valentino Rossi in his sport.
Hamilton said: “Bernie gave me a great compliment – he said, ‘I consider Lewis alongside Rossi as one of the most legendary [pilots] in motorsport.’ I had the privilege of meeting [Rossi] a few times, so it's nice to be matched with him.”
Hamilton has also set his sights on winning all of the remaining races in the 2015 season, but concedes that cannot be taken for granted as Ferrari’s recent progress with its power unit means the Scuderia should not be discounted.
He said: “The goal is to win all the remaining races, [but] Ferrari has made important steps in qualifying and in the race. I would be crazy to think that they have already [been] won.”
So far in 2015, Hamilton has scored seven race wins and 11 pole positions in 2015, just four fewer victories and four more poles than he achieved in 2014. He also lost what looked like a certain win at the Monaco Grand Prix when he came in for an extra pitstop and dropped behind teammate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The double world champion attributes his improvement on his title-winning 2014 form to minor adjustments in his mental preparation.
He said: “At the end of the year after the  title, I didn’t know if there was something to improve. But I tried to focus on mental preparation, on the physical [side], and the approach to qualifications and races. I think I improved little [things] around me and also with the team.”Hamilton currently leads the championship standings by 53 points over Rosberg and if the two Mercedes drivers finish 1-2 in every remaining race (with Hamilton first), the British driver would clinch his third world crown at the US Grand Prix.
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