In the past, Hamilton has struggled to keep up his best form after winning world titles, and it was only this year that he ended a record of never having won a race in a season he had clinched a crown.
But his triumphs in Brazil and Abu Dhabi have, according to Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, proven that the British driver is different this time out.
“He has actually driven stronger after winning the drivers’ title,” explained Wolff. “I feel he is so embedded in the team, and integrated, that the drivers’ title felt incomplete.
“For a driver it is really strange, because they are calibrated on a driver title, but he said it felt incomplete and we needed to seal the team title.
“When you look at his face, there was almost more relief and happiness about sealing the constructors’ title than the first one. And that is why he just didn’t take the foot off the throttle until the very end. That is somehow a new Lewis.”
Hamilton thinks the way he has been able to lift himself up from the intensity of winning the crown can be put down to experience.
“I think this year it was being in a different place in my life,” he said. “I do want to continue to push the limits, push the boundaries and I wanted to finish the season on a solid high if I can.
“So that I can really continue to keep that foundation as strong as it has been this year, so I can use that to start on next year.
“I think in the past it was still good. It was no biggie that I didn’t win after I won the championship but I’m definitely happy with how it’s going this year.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, 1st position, celebrates with donuts after the race
Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images