GOAL DRIVEN: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he just wants the next title and doesn't go for records. Image: AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
SPIELBERG, Austria - Lewis Hamilton can equal a 45-year-old F1 record in Austria this weekend but the double world champion says the only thing he really wants is a third title.
The Mercedes driver has now led at least one lap of the last 16 races and Sunday's race could see him equal the record of 17 successive races led, set by fellow-Briton Jackie Stewart between 1968 and 1970.
JUST WANT TO WIN
"It adds onto all the stuff that I've achieved in my life, I'm fortunate that I've been working with great people to enable me to even get to those points," Hamilton told reporters when asked about the satisfaction of reaching milestones.
"But they are not things that I'm like 'yeah, finally I've got it.'
"I just want to win championships. I want to get that next championship. That's what I'd be excited about... No other record. Doesn't matter the amount of wins you get, pole positions or fastest laps or amount of finishes on the podium. What matters is winning the world championship."
Hamilton is already the most successful British driver in terms of poles and race wins, if not championships, with 37 victories and 44 poles to date.
In Canada two weeks ago he surpassed 1992 champion Nigel Mansell's British record of laps led. Hamilton now has 2143 to his credit and ranks fifth in the all-time lists.
The champion has a long way to go to rival Michael Schumacher, whose career statistics of seven championships and 91 wins are expected by many to withstand the test of time even with an increased calendar.
"Michael is a legend and he was in the sport and successful for a long, long time. For me, I don't know how many years I'll have at the rate I'm going," said Hamilton. "The sport is always changing and you never know when you're going to have a difficult year.
"Honestly since I've been in F1 I felt like I could compete to win the world championship every year, but some years you have the car and some you don't," added the 30-year-old, who won his first title with McLaren.
"I've never ever set out to go to that goal," Hamilton added of Schumacher's title tally. "I've always wanted to emulate (triple champion) Ayrton (Senna), to do the same as he'd done. And that's what I'm focusing on."