Pres­sure on Lewis Hamil­ton at Ja­panese Grand Prix

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

For Lewis Hamil­ton, there is no bet­ter track than Suzuka to reignite his For­mula One ti­tle hopes af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of last week­end’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamil­ton’s en­gine failed while lead­ing in Malaysia, hand­ing the vic­tory to Red Bull driver Daniel Ric­cia­rdo. Ti­tle ri­val and Mercedes team­mate Nico Ros­berg fin­ished third to stretch his cham­pi­onship lead to 23 points with five races re­main­ing.

Ur­gently need­ing a win to re­store both his con­fi­dence and ti­tle chances, Hamil­ton is in the right place for this week­end’s Ja­panese Grand Prix af­ter win­ning the pre­vi­ous two races in Suzuka.

“I will find strength from within to fight back over these next five race week­ends,” Hamil­ton said. “If I can per­form like I did last week­end and the car holds to­gether, then good things can still come my way.”

Hamil­ton was fu­ri­ous af­ter the in­ci­dent in Malaysia but said he is do­ing his best to put it be­hind him.

“Last week­end was a mas­sive dis­ap­point­ment,” Hamil­ton said. “Not just for me per­son­ally but for the whole team. But there’s no use dwelling on these things. That’s just neg­a­tive en­ergy.

“The guys are hurt­ing from what hap­pened, too, and I know they’ll be work­ing just as hard to get things right next time. It’s not the low­est point I’ve had. There have been lower mo­ments for sure.”

Mercedes tech­ni­cal chief Paddy Lowe ad­mit­ted the team let Hamil­ton down.

“Malaysia was a bit­ter pill to swal­low,” Lowe said. “We let Lewis down in a big way. We are con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate the is­sue with his en­gine and are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to en­sure that it is first un­der­stood and then con­tained for the re­main­der of the sea­son.”

Ros­berg, mean­while, will be eager to widen the ad­van­tage over Hamil­ton in his quest for his first cham­pi­onship.

The Ger­man driver has started from pole and fin­ished sec­ond at last two races in Suzuka.

“I’m here to win races and that’s the aim ev­ery time,” Ros­berg said. “Suzuka is the next op­por­tu­nity and I’d love to stand on top of the podium there.”

An­gelique Ker­ber was on a run of 22 wins from 26 matches on the tour Photo: AP

Af­ter the lat­est en­gine fail­ure, Hamil­ton is in a must win sit­u­a­tion in Ja­pan Photo: AP

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