Lewis Hamilton is focused on emulating his hero Ayrton Senna and winning a third Formula 1 title.
Hamilton is so thrilled with winning his second world title this season that he freely admits it gives him more satisfaction than when he won his first one in 2008.
Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Rosberg to the title in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago after a season-long battle with the German.
The 29-year-old Brit said this week that he wants to take a long rest over the festive season and then crank up for the 2015 season, motivated by matching the late Senna’s achievement.
“I have always wanted to emulate Ayrton, so now I have the second, I am going to be working really hard to get that third one,” Hamilton said.
“Not many people get to win championships, but if I get a chance to do that I will make sure I am ready.”
He added that for him, the second championship was more special because it confirmed his pedigree and proved his first one was not merely a fluke.
He said that overcoming the frustrations of his Mercedes car failing at vital times made winning the title even more enjoyable.
“The car setting on fire, the spins – all sorts!” he said. “It wasn’t an easy year at all.”
He had a terrific tussle with Rosberg, who was an early leader in the drivers’ championship. Hamilton overhauled his teammate with a series of fine wins in the last two months of the season.
The fact that Hamilton ended the run of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel – who had taken the title the previous four years – was another factor for supreme satisfaction. It also helped generate interest in Formula 1 because Vettel’s dominance had started to become boring.
Mercedes really dominated this year, winning 16 races and securing both the constructors’ and drivers’ championship, and Hamilton warned the other teams that they are fully committed to remain top.
Complacency will not be an issue, he insisted.
“The one thing is that this team is the best,” he added. “We plan to be the best next year. “There is a lot of work going on, and I have faith in them. We are going to be coming at it hard.”
Hamilton expects Rosberg to be just as fiercely competitive next season and he also singled out Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren-bound Fernando Alonso as the most likely rivals.
“Daniel Ricciardo has been doing an amazing job. It will be interesting to see what Fernando does in his car,” he said.
“Nico’s going to come back stronger and I’ll have to make sure I come back even stronger to stay ahead of him.”