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Polarising Hamilton: I Don’t Care About The Haters

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (C), Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (2nd R) and Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa celebrate at the end of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on November 26, 2017. PHOTO/AFP
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (C), Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (2nd R) and Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa celebrate at the end of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on November 26, 2017. PHOTO/AFP

LONDON, England- Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton insists he will never be affected by criticism of his polarising personality.

Hamilton, 32, is the most successful British Formula One driver of all time after winning his fourth world title this season.

But despite his success, the Mercedes driver remains disliked by some in his country due to a perceived aloof attitude towards the media and sports fans.

Hamilton isn’t fussed about the public perception of his demeanour and has no intention of changing his ways.

“I don’t really feel anything,” he said in an interview with BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek on Sunday.

“I know what my values are, I know what I’ve achieved and I know where me and my family have come from.

“I don’t rely on acceptance from any source other than my family and myself so honestly I couldn’t care if (popularity) was more or less.

“There is a lot of positivity when I go to the British Grand Prix and I get a great amount of support around the world, with British flags all over the place. I only notice the positives.

“There may be negative people out there or those with negative things to say but that has no relevance in my life.”

Hamilton is now one of only five drivers in F1 history with four or more titles, and is three behind Michael Schumacher’s record.

But he said catching the German was not a target for him.

Outside noise

“I’ve also said I don’t have a desire to do what Michael has done even though now, with the wins, it’s not that far away,” he said.

“Can I get there? Yeah, sure, if I stay long enough I’m sure I can probably get there. But it’s not what drives me. What drives me is the challenge of each year I’m currently embarking on.

“I don’t know when I’m going to stop. It could be a year, it could be five. We’ll see.”

Refusing to be distracted by the outside noise, Hamilton is focused on further honing his driving skills and adding more silverware to his trophy collection.

“I love racing and I’m going to continue to do it while I love it,” he said.

“I’ve got a great opportunity to continue while at my best. I think I’m still growing, still improving, and I don’t think I’m at my best yet.

“I’m at my best to this point in my life, but I think there’s more to come.

“More growth, more to achieve, to always be better. My only goal is to continue to raise the bar.”

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