New Delhi: He is one of the world's most sought after F1 star: the man who sets millions of pulses racing both on and off the track. Lewis Hamilton was in Mumbai for a few hours and spoke to CNN-IBN's Roma Khanna on his life off the tracks.
Roma Khanna:: How would you describe your journey to the Formula 1 Championship race ?
Lewis Hamilton: The past is the past, but I think for sure it is very very special to have started off my life at a young age, meeting Ron Dennis and setting my path. By just initiating the relationship with him really set the course for the rest of my life and I am very lucky. Last year was a great experience. I think it made me stronger by not winning and I think now I am ready for it.
Roma Khanna: Back to back wins at Silverstone and Hokkenhiem and now every one is saying that you are the one in charge. Do you feel that way at this point of time?
Lewis Hamilton: I think right now I feel that the me and the team are on top of the game. We are really extracting the most from the car and from myself. I feel fit than ever, I feel really strong. I feel mentally strong. I know I have a new car and have powered through in the last 2 races. We are on top of our game.
Roma Khanna: How would you describe 2007 with you in perspective, you being a roukee, you look out to a team, or with some spying saga, you have 2 drivers, bitterly fighting for the championship title and then a very dramatic finale to the end of the season, how do you look at it.?
Lewis Hamilton: Last year was a phenomenal year. By no means it was dissapointing even by the end. It was just that I had finally made to Formula 1. I was like wow! We did not even realize that we ever did it. I got there and we powered through. I nearly won the world championship but I lost it by 1 point. It was so close. Such great experiences are really what have molded me into the person that I am today and that is probably why I am stronger today. It was a fantastic season that I want to remember.
Roma Khanna: Mika Hakkinen just recently said that Lewis Hamilton is the one. His time has begun, Niki Lauda saying the same. Do you feel some pressure that every one comes out and keeps saying he is the best, he is the one, he is the man?
Lewis Hamilton: If any thing, that is a compliment. It is positive. You can take the positive from that. There is nothing negative. I do not feel the pressure from it. It is what it is. I have done a good job in the last 2 races. There is still a long long way to go and there is by no means that I am getting ahead of myself. I know I have a lot of work to do. There are still 8 races that we can win.
Roma Khanna: How do you deal with all that, you being someone who is just 23 and just shot to fame and everything?
Lewis Hamilton: It is very difficult. It is absolutely insane, just over a year ago I was nobody to anyone. No one knew who I was. I was walking in the streets, I could do anything. Now when I go to london or go to any country and walk around, I have to think about where I go, what I do and who sees me and it is very very surreal. It is a sacrifice that I was willing to make.
Roma Khanna: Who are the drivers from the past that you have liked and probably you would like to get them at their best and you at your best and race them?.
Lewis Hamilton: Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna is my favorite formula driver of all times, for sure Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill Nelson Piquet, Niki Lauda...Schumacher is a good friend of mine and just to have them all at their best in their car and me in my car, and just to see how it would work, that would have been a season to watch out for sure.
Roma Khanna: Am I interviewing a 2008 Formula 1 champion.
Lewis Hamilton: Well I think I should ask you that question, what do you think? For me, I feel comfortable and confident that we can do it. As I said I never get ahead of myself, so what do you think.
Roma Khanna: I think I am interviewing a F1 champion.