Hamilton: I am a worthy champion

Lewis Hamilton has hit out at the statisticians claiming he won the 2008 world championship by default – as a result of the Renault crash-gate scandal which robbed Felipe Massa of valuable points in Singapore.

Hamilton beat Massa to the title by a single point by overtaking Timo Glock for fifth place on the final lap of a nail-biting season finale in Brazil.

However, in light of the Renault crash-gate scandal, the statisticians have been quick to point out that Felipe Massa was on course for victory in the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix, a points haul which could have made the Brazilian the 2008 world champion.

Hamilton insists that the argument is a futile one since he and McLaren would have adopted a different strategy in the remaining races had he lost to Massa in Singapore.

“I am a worthy world champion,” the British driver told the News of the World. “I have got the number one on my car and I deserved it. I am extremely proud of my achievements since coming into F1. Getting in that car is the one thing I can do in my life that I know I am better at than most people. It is a great feeling to know that I can do it well and that it is widely respected and loved.

“I remember my race in Singapore last year. I was driving with one eye on the world championship and wasn’t going to take too many risks; I was happy to finish on the podium. There are things that happened last year with penalties that affected my points and I still think I won in Belgium. I think that was my race.

“When you are leading the championship, it is a different mindset to when you are chasing. I was just thinking about the championship in the remaining races and getting the points I needed to win the title. If I had needed wins I would have gone for them.”