Right now, it doesn't feel real - Hamilton

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Mexico, Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguezmx

Lewis Hamilton endured a difficult race at Mexico, but it was more than enough to secure a legendary fifth World Championship, equalling Juan Manual Fangio and coming ever closer to Michael Schumacher's illustrious 7 titles.

Having faced stiff competition from Ferrari in the first half of the season, securing the title 2 races ahead of the end of the season takes some time to sink in.

"Right now, it just doesn't feel real. I feel like I'm going to wake up in a matter of moments", Hamilton said.

"It's been such a difficult year and such a great battle but a lot of work. I really worked hard to make sure I've had the right energy, the right balance in my life and this year, working on all these different aspects to enable myself to perform better.

"I think I had a great year last year and I was thinking to myself, 'how can I raise the bar, how can I squeeze some more out of myself?'

"Honestly, you never know what the formula is, and there is no secret formula, but somehow I managed to find that balance and that flow and I've had some of my best races of my career, and I think that's ultimately why I'm sitting here."

While one title is now secured, there's still another to win. "I still have work to do," said Lewis. "I've still got to get back to the factory and rally the troops next week to figure out how we can come back and win these next races.

"We still have the Constructors' Championship to win, which I know will mean even more to all the guys back at the factory. So that's the focus."

Over the course of the season, we've had to overcome a number of obstacles: "Even on weekends where we didn't have the package and we were on the back foot, we'd come away with wins, even though we weren't the quickest.

"It took some special laps, it took some special moments in the car, and I honestly could just relive those moments all the time. Some of those experiences I had in the car were really magical.

"I truly believed that we could win this Championship, but it has been the toughest battle that we've had collectively as a team.

"So much work has gone on in the background. These guys in the garage have just been flawless every single weekend, with our pit stops, with our decision-making, strategy and set-up. That's been the key.

"I feel I can take the car to places that nobody else can. But to do that, you have to get the car in the right place and so that means, ultimately, you've got to work with the team, to help unleash what's great within them so that you can unleash the greatness in yourself."

For any sportsman or woman with multiple victories and titles, it's tough to narrow down the most special and important one. Where does 2018 rank for Lewis?

"Winning the first world title in Brazil, and the last corner, I mean, that was something so special in its own way," he said.

"They've all required different bits of input. They've all required different manoeuvrability, different agility, different approaches, so they've all been unique, and I've been faced with different things.

"I would say this year, for me, from memory, this feels the proudest. This is definitely the proudest moment, because there's been a year when we've not had the fastest car at the majority of the races.

"And yet we've come away with more wins that I could have hoped for, more pole positions, and... ah jeez, I love driving and I've really enjoyed driving this year even more.

"I think each year, being that I'm getting older and I'm getting to really enjoy my work more, the things I do. I worry about things less. I'm able to let things go quicker and move forwards and grow faster. I think that just comes with being old."