U.S. Grand Prix diary: McConaughey leads praise for 'humble,' 'exceptional' Hamilton

Hamilton on his sixth title: Each year I try to raise the bar (1:21)

Lewis Hamilton explains how he feels about surpassing Juan Manuel Fangio's five drivers' championships. (1:21)

AUSTIN -- The Formula One paddock hosts a lot of serious business during a race weekend, but this is a place for some of the lighter-hearted stories in the buildup to the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

All right, all right, all right

Lewis Hamilton is never far away from a famous name singing his praises, and after Hamilton secured his sixth world title at the U.S. Grand Prix, one of the most famous living Texans was on hand to do just that.

Actor Matthew McConaughey had dinner with Hamilton the night before he secured the title and spoke about his admiration for the Englishman, who he thinks has already solidified a special place in the sport's history.

When asked whether he said anything to motivate Hamilton at dinner, the actor told Sky Sports: "I didn't tell him anything. We just enjoyed each other's company.

"We talked about life. His family is all here. His greatness is already proved. He's 34 years young, six-time world champion. If you're a world champion once in life, that's an incredible feat ... Six times in 34, that's an exceptional feat. I love seeing greatness, and he is.

"He's conscious of what he's doing. You all know him, he's an incredibly humble man. He clearly respects the sport, he clearly respects the achievement, he respects where he's from, and he respects where he's going. He's a guy with a very high eye of where he's going. When Lewis Hamilton is finished racing, he'll continue doing great things."

Hook 'em!

It's not unusual for F1 drivers to mark their favourite races with one-off helmet designs, but never before has someone carried the colours of the local college football team.

This weekend, Daniel Ricciardo is doing exactly that by painting his crash helmet in the colours of the Texas Longhorns, bearing the Austin-based university's famous orange logo. The front is designed to look like the grill of the helmet, and the rear carries Ricciardo's No. 3 and his name.

"The long and short of it is: I love Austin," Ricciardo said. "The first year we visited here, I fell in love with the place, the people and the atmosphere. It speaks my language!

"Last year, I finally went to a Texas Longhorns game, and it was an awesome experience, so I thought this year I'd tip my hat to them. I normally try and do something Austin themed here, and I thought the Longhorns was a cool one with the idea to do a football helmet. It's pretty special and I'd like to show some love to the city!"

For the sake of consistency and to make it easier to identify them on track, F1 drivers are allowed one change of helmet design per year under the regulations.

This article will be updated throughout the week.