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Lewis Hamilton has officially been crowned a four-time Formula One world champion at the governing body FIA’s gala prizegiving ceremony in the sumptuous palace of France’s former monarchy.

Hamilton became only the fifth driver in F1 history to reach the four-championships landmark when he clinched the title in Mexico in October.

“This has been an amazing year,” Hamilton told the audience of champions and FIA members gathered in the palace’s 18th century opera.

“I hope that next year’s an even better year for all of you. I know for me that I‘m going to try to do better.”

Mercedes won both championships for the fourth year in a row, but team boss Toto Wolff said 2017 had been particularly difficult.

“This has been a very challenging season for us,” Wolff said.

“We knew that we set ourselves an ambitious goal when we said that we want to defend the titles across a major regulation change. We raced against some very strong opponents who put up a good fight.”

“So every team member had to work extra hard in order to reach our target. I am incredibly proud of the accomplishment and I want to thank everyone in Brixworth, Brackley and Stuttgart for their hard work.” Wolff added

“It’s great to see the all the other motorsport champions being honoured here as well,” he continued. “I know how hard everyone fought who received a championship trophy tonight – huge congratulations to all of you!”

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