Win­ning in Lewis’s hands

> Hamil­ton re­fuses to pin hopes on Nico Ros­berg car trou­ble

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

WORLD CHAM­PION Lewis Hamil­ton in­sists he can­not be­come “fix­ated” on the hope that his ti­tle ri­val Nico Ros­berg will run into trou­ble as For­mula One’s long­est sea­son reaches its con­clu­sion.

De­spite his im­pres­sive vic­tory in the United States Grand Prix – the 50th of his ca­reer – the ti­tle bat­tle re­mains out of Hamil­ton’s con­trol.

In­deed with only three races re­main­ing, and a pos­si­ble 75 points on the ta­ble, Hamil­ton still trails Ros­berg, who fin­ished sec­ond on Sun­day, by a mar­gin of 26.

Ros­berg could even seal the ti­tle as early as this week­end if he tri­umphs in Mex­ico and Hamil­ton (right) fails to score.

While Hamil­ton has en­coun­tered a num­ber of me­chan­i­cal trou­bles this sea­son, his Mercedes team­mate has en­joyed a rel­a­tively trou­ble-free cam­paign.

“So far it has been 100% re­li­able on his side, but of­ten in sea­sons there can be 100% re­li­a­bil­ity,” Hamil­ton said. “Will that be the case on Nico’s? Only time will tell, but I can’t get fix­ated on that.

“I have got to fo­cus on mine, and I am hop­ing I will have 100% re­li­a­bil­ity – that would be a breath of fresh air – and I will try and utilise that op­por­tu­nity with driv­ing like I did here.”

Fol­low­ing an off-colour week­end – both on and off the track – in Ja­pan a fort­night ago, Hamil­ton was back to his com­mand­ing best in Austin. The Bri­ton se­cured pole po­si­tion be­fore lead­ing vir­tu­ally ev­ery lap to claim his fifth win on Amer­i­can soil.

And de­spite the daunt­ing chal­lenge fac­ing him, Hamil­ton has not given up hope of record­ing what would surely be con­sid­ered as one of the sport’s great­est come­backs.

“I still con­tinue to keep a pos­i­tive frame of mind – I’ve got to – and any­thing is pos­si­ble,” Hamil­ton, 31, added.

“The mo­ment you give up is when you lose. I’ve never given up in my life and I don’t plan on do­ing so now.

“His­tory has shown lots of ups and downs and changes. And if you look at his­tory, there have been times where it is dead cer­tain al­ready and there have been times where it has flipped.

“So, that is ex­actly why I have got to keep my head down and keep try­ing to do the job I did this week­end, which I se­ri­ously be­lieve I can do. All we can do is when I leave this sea­son know that I did every­thing with a full heart.”

Such is the cham­pi­onship deficit, how­ever, Ros­berg can af­ford to fin­ish sec­ond in two of the three re­main­ing races, and third on one oc­ca­sion, and clinch his maiden ti­tle.

And while the Ger­man in­sists he is not adapt­ing his style to fit such a sce­nario, his Mercedes boss Toto Wolff be­lieved his con­duct on the open­ing lap – where he re­fused to en­gage with Hamil­ton be­fore con­ced­ing his po­si­tion to Daniel Ric­cia­rdo – may sug­gest oth­er­wise.

“You could prob­a­bly see it in turn one,” said Wolff. “He’s in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion. He needs to look at each week­end at a time, how he does. But he needs to make sure he does not DNF, which is the most im­por­tant.

“Nico was very strong in Sin­ga­pore but Lewis was very strong in Malaysia, Nico very strong in Suzuka and Lewis very strong in Austin. It keeps bounc­ing be­tween the two, so I’m very cu­ri­ous as to how it’s go­ing to go.” – The In­de­pen­dent CHELSEA are keen on Roma’s An­to­nio Rudi­ger, 23, in a £35m deal but Manch­ester United are also mon­i­tor­ing the Ger­man de­fender.

MANCH­ESTER CITY AND City cap­tain Vincent Kompany, 30, says he has made a com­mit­ment to the club’s med­i­cal staff in a bid to over­come his per­sis­tent in­juries.

AR­SE­NAL

has told striker Wayne Rooney he must leave Old Traf­ford if the 31-year-old wants reg­u­lar first-team foot­ball. boss Pep Guardi­ola is lin­ing up a £20m move for Bay­ern Mu­nich’s Span­ish full­back Juan Ber­nat, 23.

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