Lewis Hamilton has confessed that, although it would be very hard to imagine himself performing for another team apart from Mercedes for the remainder of his career, he won't rule out a move to Ferrari, saying he would "never say never" to the switch.
However, Ferrari have closed the gap by twenty-three points across the past two Grand Prix in the United States and Mexico, and the last weekend saw one of the more hard weekends in recent times for Mercedes, with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finishing fourth and fifth after suffering with extreme tyre degradation. "I'm very, very fortunate to be up here now, obviously with more than most people have, and I don't take that for granted".
"I knew I could, but I wanted to prove it".
Hamilton said he could "never, ever personally classify myself as the best" but was honoured to be in the company of Schumacher and Fangio as only the third driver to reach five titles. Now it is a little different for me, I am one of the older drivers. I'm going to give it everything to do so.
"The 91 wins that he has, for example, that's a lot of wins".
Hamilton highlights his ability to pursue other interests away from Formula 1, such as his role as a global brand ambassador for the Tommy Hilfiger fashion brand, as having a crucial part in his championship-winning performance this year.
"I welcome the competition", he said. If I stopped today, the Hamilton name will always be there. Only I can live my life the way I live it and it can't be steered by anyone else and I try to do the right things in order to be my best.
"Fangio, I think, is the godfather and always will be, from a driver's perspective". Ultimately, on my list, there's a new dream there, to do something like he's done within that business.
We see the number 5 Ferrari streaking across the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace and allowing Ferrari a minor victory in what has been a very disappointing season so far.