Congratulations on the first of what I am sure will be several F1 world titles. You made it hard for yourself all season and the FIA made it harder still, but if you believe in the ‘may the best man win’ philosophy, there can be no doubting you are fully deserving of that title.
You were the best driver and, unlike the last British F1 champion, were not in the best car. Of course Ferrari helped you out by falling over themselves every so often – but that’s racing and in no way lessens the scale of your achievement.
So you may now think you’ve done the difficult bit. In fact it lies ahead of you: your challenge over the seasons to come is to continue to function at the stratospheric level you have now attained without turning into a c*ck.
Many people have won F1 world titles over the years, rather fewer have managed not to turn into an arrogant tosser soon after. There are so many things we like about you which have nothing to do with your raw speed: your courage and determination are admirable, but no more so than the wide-eyed enthusiasm with which you embraced the top level of your sport. We want to see you enjoying yourself, we want to see you generous in victory and gracious in defeat.
I am not alone in detecting a small but significant change in your attitude both on and off the track over the course of the season, nothing serious or requiring a change in helmet size just yet, but enough cause to be worried.
You are too good, too precious to the nation to be spoiled this way. Your head must be in the clouds right now and with every good reason – I just hope your feet are and will remain firmly rooted to the ground.