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Page last updated at 23:50 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Hamilton gets hands on F1 trophy

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton pipped Felipe Massa to the F1 title on the final day of the season

Lewis Hamilton finally got his hands on the Formula One world title trophy at a glitzy ceremony in Monte Carlo and then proclaimed himself as "number one".

The 23-year-old has had to wait since 2 November when he won the world title in thrilling fashion on the final day of the season in Brazil.

An hour-long ceremony preceded his introduction before being unveiled next to his McLaren at the FIA Gala dinner.

"This year has been very special, the fulfilment of a dream," he said.

"It is the conclusion of an ambition that has taken me and my family on an amazing journey.

"The fact that I have the drivers' world championship trophy in my hand makes me so proud, and it's testament to the great determination and spirit that has helped me get here.

"Tonight has been an incredible evening, so very special.


"To be here with the Prince (Albert of Monaco) and my family, is again another very overwhelming experience.

"As you can imagine, it was a very emotional moment for me to be standing there holding the trophy - I am number one."

And Hamilton admitted he felt very emotional watching images of the late Ayrton Senna during a video montage ahead of the presentation.

"I was expecting there to be a mix of many different people, so that for me was very special, seeing him (Senna) and hearing his voice in the background.

"All the things he said, I felt them. Through my whole life I've always felt, word by word, whatever he has said, it has always stuck with me," he explained.

"When I received the trophy I looked for Ayrton's name immediately, and then I saw others like Sir Jackie Stewart, Juan Manuel Fangio.

"Seeing my name alongside theirs made it sink in that little bit more that I am world champion. Bit by bit, it sinks in.

"I've obviously been conscious of the achievement, and to be standing there receiving the trophy reminds you of it."

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