Lewis Hamilton allowed himself a lie in on Monday morning. Most people think he probably deserved it after starring centre stage in one of the greatest sporting spectacles of all time.

Lewis’s achievement in grabbing the crucial fifth place that guaranteed him the championship crown was the closest title finish since the final lap of the 1964 Mexican Grand Prix, where the championship moved from Jim Clarke to Graham Hill and finally to John Surtees in the space of the final lap.

The cool and poise which Hamilton brought to bear on Sunday’s memorable result reflected the broad range of talent displayed by this remarkable young man. He had completed only 35 Grand Prixs by the time he took the chequered flag at Interlagos. 

Yet Lewis has freely confessed that he has no ambition to chase after Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world championships.

Hamilton said he is happy enough just winning races, although he did confess on the day after the Brazilian race that winning his first world championship has been extremely difficult. "I hope the second will be a little easier,” he said.

If Hamilton wins three such titles for McLaren he will receive a very special present from Ron Dennis: the bright orange McLaren F1 GTR that currently adorns the line-up of historic cars at the grid’s technical centre in Woking.