Lewis Hamilton collects F1 World Championship trophy

After picking up his F1 drivers' title in Paris, Lewis Hamilton discussed the bigger challenge of replicating or bettering "the best seasonof my life".

Lewis Hamilton hails 'best season of my life' after collecting F1 World Championship trophy

Lewis Hamilton is in no doubt - 2019 was the best season of his life as he toasted a year to remember after collecting the Formula One World Championship trophy at the FIA's awards gala in Paris. The Mercedes driver finished ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen to win the drivers' title for a sixth time, putting him one behind Michael Schumacher.

He ended the campaign with a magnificent 11th victory in Abu Dhabi, a triumph that matched his personal best tally for wins in a season and ensured he comprehensively beat Bottas by 87 points. After receiving his trophy, Hamilton told the watching audience he did not think he had enjoyed a better season in his F1 career.

Hamilton praises "incredible team"

"For me this has definitely been the best season of my life," he said. "I've enjoyed collaborating with this incredible team. Not everyone realises it is almost 2,000 people in our team. Fighting hard with Valtteri and a lot of these up and coming young drivers this year has been fantastic. To come into a sixth year, to have fought for a world title at the front and sustained the performance we have collectively I think has been amazing. On the driver front, I’m definitely very happy with my performance this year. There's been lots of great races, the last few years have been intense with Ferrari, but having another team [Red Bull] up there in the loop has made it more challenging for us all."

Hamilton expects a closer battle in 2020 with Verstappen, who won the award for Action of the Year for his battle with Charles Leclerc at Silverstone. "I'm just looking forward to this winter - next year is going to be close," said Hamilton, who has been linked with a move to Ferrari in 2021 with his Mercedes contract having one year left to run. "The Red Bulls with Max are going to be fantastic. The Ferraris have picked up their pace and have been extraordinary in the second half of the season. I'm hoping you're going to see the closest season yet. I'll be best prepared and hope for the best season there's been."

Albon and Lauda honoured

Verstappen's team-mate Alex Albon won the Rookie of the Year award, while Mercedes collected their sixth consecutive constructors' title. Former Mercedes executive and three-time world champion Niki Lauda, who died in May, was honoured with a posthumous Personality of the Year award.