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Hamilton leaves the partying for later

2014-11-24 14:38

KEEPING IT MELLOW: Formula 1's new champion Lewis Hamilton kept his celebrations rather low-key after winning his second title in Abu Dhabi on Nov 23 2014. Image: Kamran Jebreili

ALAN BALDWIN

ABU DHABI, UAE - Graham Hill would doubtlessly have done it differently.

Where a dishevelled James Hunt might have staggered into the morning of the day after the night before, probably clutching a bottle in each hand on the way to bed, Lewis Hamilton celebrated his second Formula 1 title on Monday (Nov 24) with bright eyes and a spring in his step.

A glass of watermelon juice and a few sips of "some kind of Cognac thing" was sufficient carousing for Britain's first multiple champion since Jackie Stewart.

WATERMELON JUICE

As one of only four Britons, including the late Hill, to have won the title twice, Hamilton said his achievement had yet to sink in.

The Mercedes driver told a breakfast media conference: "I feel fresh; I only had one drink last night, which is more than enough for me. I don't drink Champagne. I had a watermelon juice at dinner, which is my favourite. Then when I was at the party there was some kind of Cognac thing... but it didn't taste very nice.

"So I had a couple of sips and that was it. I knew as well that I had to be up early."

If the early hour was not greeted with universal delight, there were no complaints from the man of the moment. "It was an incredible feeling to wake up this morning feeling fresh in my surroundings and with all the different people who have been involved in my career over 21 years.

"The sun is shining and I feel really blessed."

His mobile had gone crazy, the texts and emails flooding in, and he promised to answer them all.

Hamilton, the first champion for a Mercedes works team since Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955, said he spent the evening with family, just reminiscing about the journey on when they had  been. He’s won 11 races this season but recalled his early karting days, sitting by a gas heater drinking chicken soup from a flask, and the sacrifices his father made.

"Then I popped out to the party and (Mercedes motorsport head) Toto (Wolff) was all over the place at that point," laughed Hamilton, Wolff sitting alongside with a pained expression.

Beaten team mate Nico Rosberg had Tweeted after the race that "now it's time to fight for the party world championship". The German, elsewhere on Monday, seemed to have won the battle.

Hamilton was happy to let that one go at least.
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