NO ‘PHONEY WARS’

Hamil­ton not in­ter­ested in mind games

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MONACO

LEWIS Hamil­ton has said he will avoid any kind of mind games in his ti­tle bat­tle with Se­bas­tian Vet­tel this year as the two mul­ti­ple world cham­pi­ons scrap it out for the tini­est of ad­van­tages at ev­ery race.

Hav­ing topped Thurs­day morn­ing’s open­ing free prac­tice for to­mor­row’s Monaco Grand Prix and then fallen more than a sec­ond adrift in the af­ter­noon, the 32-year-old Bri­ton had ev­ery rea­son to con­sider en­gag­ing in the kind of “phoney war” of pre­vi­ous sea­sons.

His in­tra-team bat­tles with 2016 cham­pion Nico Ros­berg, dur­ing three sea­sons of raw com­pe­ti­tion, were char­ac­terised by spells of ac­cu­sa­tions and ac­ri­mony that made life dif­fi­cult for Mercedes’ man­age­ment.

But this sea­son, the three-time world cham­pion has made it clear he wants a pure cham­pi­onship scrap, with­out any dis­cord, that will be de­cided on the track.

“I want him to be his best when he gets in the car so I don’t have any in­ten­tion of play­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal wars out­side the car,” Hamil­ton told re­porters.

“I want to beat him in the car be­cause, when he’s at his best and I beat him, that says what it needs to say rather than hav­ing him on the back foot.”

The English­man was only six points adrift of the cham­pi­onship

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