Hamilton vows to fight back
> With six races left, Briton aims to redeem himself by overtaking Rosberg at favourite Sepang track
THREE TIMES Formula one world champion Lewis Hamilton said he will give everything at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix as he looks to bounce back in the championship after losing his lead to a rampaging Nico Rosberg.
“I have six races left in this season, and I have to win every race,” he said yesterday during an interview in Kuala Lumpur.
“The last three races has been below the par. So I will give the best I can to make all my fans proud,” the triple world champion added.
Hamilton lies eight points behind Mercedes teammate Rosberg, after the increasingly impressive German powered to a hattrick of victories in Belgium, Italy and in his 200th grand prix at Singapore.
With six races left, Hamilton knows time is running out for him.
The Briton was in Kuala Lumpur yesterday as part of his exclusive evening meet and greet session with Malaysian F1 fans.
Hamilton said it has always been his dream to be a formula one driver.
“When I was five years old I have dreamt to be a formula one driver.
“Of course I never knew whether I was going to make it, but that was my goal. I was also very fortunate that my family helped me out to make me who am I today.”
Hamilton who is known to have a competitive nature inside the track, said he the same person outside racing.
“I am just as crazy on the track as I am outside the track. I am basically an adrenaline junkie, so I enjoy anything with an edge in it.
“I have done sky diving, motorbikes, but the scariest thing I have done is rock climbing. I wouldn’t want to do that again.”
Hamilton attributes much of his success to his humble upbringing in Stevenage, the place which he began racing as a hobby.
Winning came naturally to the young driver and soon he was cutting his teeth in national events.
When asked what success means to him, Hamilton replied: “Success is the outcome of the journey you took to get a place you want to be. I enjoyed the journey I take to get to where I am now.
“For instance, I work with 1,300 people in the Mercedecs team to just make two Formula one cars,” he added.
“Getting the best out of everyone, motivating them, and getting them to motivate you, and achieving perfection, that’s what make success taste so great.”
The Malaysian GP, which often sees rain and thunderstorms, has been moved from its traditional early-season slot to the middle leg of an “Asian swing”, in between the Singapore and Japan GPs.
However, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo believes the calendar switch won’t affect his chances of a wet race.
A wet race would also interest former world champion Sebastian Vettel, as he tries to bridge a 26point gap to Ricciardo in third place.
Singing in the rain RED BULL’S Daniel Ricciardo could be forgiven for performing a little rain dance in the Sepang paddock this weekend after pushing Rosberg all the way in Singapore. Ricciardo admitted that Singapore’s twisty, 23-turn street circuit had represented his best chance of a first victory of the season, at least under cloudless skies.
“I think in dry circumstances this was our best shot,” he said, after finishing half-a-second behind the championship leader in Singapore. “We’ll get a downpour somewhere and that’ll hopefully throw a few curveballs and we can get the victory we’re after.”
Rain suits Red Bull’s high downforce set-up, tempers Mercedes’ power advantage and can bring that ‘curveball’ in the shape of a safety car intervention. Ricciardo will also be encouraged by the current weather forecast, which gives an 80% chance of rain.
Hard choices SEARING temperatures and the unknown quantity of a newly resurfaced ‘green’ track makes tyre-wear key to this race. Mercedes suffered last year, having to
victory at Sepang last year was his first for Ferrari and ended a 35-race drought for the Italian team. Further progress seemed assured as they try to close the gap on Mercedes.
But the team have gone backwards this year, with no victories thus far and a suspension failure in Singapore relegating Vettel to the back of the grid.
The team took advantage of the Singapore qualifying woes by burning some grid penalties to equip Vettel with a new power unit, and he drove superbly to finish fifth. There are further upgrades to come, giving Vettel renewed hope of ending the season on a high.
“I think going forward we have confidence, there are some bits coming still,” said the German.
“We’re here to fight and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Max’s magnificent seventh IT WAS in Malaysia in 2015 that a 17-year-old Max Verstappen came of age by qualifying his Toro Rosso in an impressive sixth position on the grid in the wet, and then overtaking the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo on his way to seventh place and a new record as Formula One’s youngest ever points-scorer.
Now installed as Ricciardo’s teammate since the Spanish Grand Prix, don’t bet against him going even better this year, especially if the heavens open once again. – AFP
Formula One world champion and Mercedes AMG Petronas team driver Lewis Hamilton reacts during a Hugo Boss exclusive event at the Pavillion Mall, Kuala Lumpur yesterday. –