Lewis Hamilton admitted he will celebrate a record-equalling seventh Formula One world championship with a bowl of minestrone soup and a bottle of wine, with the sport’s strict coronavirus protocols meaning his title celebrations are on ice until the end of the season.
The Mercedes driver proved a cut above the rest of the field in testing conditions once again with a brilliant victory in Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix, with the Briton one of only two drivers who was able to make the intermediate rain tyres last to come home some 31 seconds ahead of second-placed Sergio Perez.
His 10th victory of the season wrapped up the 2020 world championship with three races to spare, as teammate and championship rival Valtteri Bottas suffered a dismal day that involved four separate spins around the Istanbul Park circuit.
Upon crossing the finish line to take the chequered flag, Hamilton burst into tears as the emotion of a challenging season came pouring out of him, an unusual sight from a man who by his own admission likes to keep that side of himself out of the public eye.
But as he celebrated with his team back in the pits, Hamilton admitted that the toll of spending the second half of 2020 within a bio-secure bubble had certainly impacted on how life has played out this season, and it will also dictate how he celebrates equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 world championships.
"I feel like I’m only just getting started,” Hamilton said. “It’s really weird. I feel physically in great shape and mentally, this year has been the hardest year for millions of people and I know things always look great on this stage here but it’s no different for us athletes.
“This has been a challenge that I didn’t know how to get through but with a brilliant team around me I was just able to keep my head above water.
“This year I haven’t gone out, I haven’t gone to dinner, I’ve not done anything exciting. I’ve just been staying in the bubble, I get room service every day. This year I sacrificed more than I have in my whole life because I didn’t want to take any risks. I’ve got a championship to fight for, and tonight it’s not going to be very fun.
“I’m going to go home, probably watch the race, I like to have a bowl of minestrone soup but for sure there will be a bottle of wine tonight. But I haven’t made any plans because I didn’t want to.
“Making memories like this, I want to wait until I can get around my family and my friends.”
However, while the 35-year-old plans on unwinding in low-key circumstances when he gets home, the journey there may be slightly more eventful as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff revealed he is on the same flight back from Turkey as the world champion, and plans to have something of a celebration on the way.
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