Lewis Hamilton officially crowned 2019 F1 champion at FIA gala

Lewis Hamilton has been officially crowned a six-time F1 world champion after receiving his 2019 Drivers’ Championship trophy at the FIA’s annual awards gala.

Hamilton is only the second driver in F1’s history to win six titles, and is now one behind Michael Schumacher’s all-time record.

“This has definitely been the best season of my life,” said Hamilton, who broke his own F1 points record this year with 413, while also matching his personal best tally of 11 wins.

Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s Mercedes’ team-mate, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen were also at the end-of-season ceremony in Paris to collect their trophies for finishing second and third in the standings respectively.

Hamilton and his record-breaking team Mercedes got their prizes a week after the Englishman finished another sparkling campaign on a high by winning the Abu Dhabi GP.

Since joining Mercedes in 2013, Hamilton has only missed out on the title twice – in his first year, and in 2016 when Nico Rosberg triumphed.

Mercedes, meanwhile, have made history with six consecutive clean sweeps of F1’s championships.

Hamilton wasn’t the only F1 driver to collect a winners’ trophy on Friday night, with Max Verstappen claiming Action of the Year for his pass on Charles Leclerc in Austria, while Alex Albon won Rookie of the Year after a superb first season, in which he earned a call-up to Red Bull.

Hamilton closing on record but wary of 2020 rivals
Consistency was key for Hamilton in 2019. He wasn’t quite at his best in qualifying, nor did he secure many memorable victories when coming through the field, but Hamilton was at or near his best every weekend as he won more than half of the races, aided by another superb Mercedes car.

“I’ve enjoyed collaborating with this incredible team,” said Hamilton. “Fighting hard with Valtteri and a lot of these up and coming young drivers this year has been fantastic.”

Schumacher’s record is now firmly in his sights, and he can match his title record next year.

“Records have never really been something I’ve focused on,” explained Hamilton. “Every year it’s a blank slate.

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