“You can re­lax, and be beaten”

Ste­wart says com­pla­cency may cost

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook Pho­tos: LAT

Lewis Hamil­ton is in dan­ger of los­ing out on a fourth world ti­tle due to com­pla­cency, ac­cord­ing to Bri­tish F1 leg­end Sir Jackie Ste­wart.

Ste­wart – along­side Hamil­ton the only other Bri­ton to win three world crowns – said last week that Hamil­ton risks be­ing left be­hind in the ti­tle race by ri­val Nico Ros­berg, who snatched the points lead with his third suc­ces­sive win last time out in Sin­ga­pore.

Ros­berg has claimed a per­fect 75 points from the last three races, and now leads Hamil­ton by eight points with six races re­main­ing.

Ste­wart said Hamil­ton, who has won the last two world cham­pi­onships, must re­fo­cus. “Maybe you can bot­tom out,” he said. “That can hap­pen through con­sis­tent suc­cess be­cause when you have con­sis­tent suc­cess ev­ery­thing can seem easy.

“Sud­denly things go less well – you over­drive, you are not on the ball, or you live a life that dis­tracts you in one way or an­other.

“If you are at the top in any line of work, you can get car­ried away with suc­cess. You think you can get away with things. Then some­one else comes along and drives bet­ter or more con­sis­tently.

“I was al­ways fright­ened of be­ing beaten. I al­ways thought there could be some­one out there bet­ter than me or who might have a bet­ter car. So I al­ways worked on that ba­sis. I could never sit back and re­lax.” Red Bull Rac­ing ace Daniel Ric­cia­rdo also backed Ros­berg for the ti­tle this year af­ter shad­ow­ing him to the flag at Ma­rina Bay. Ric­cia­rdo said: “Be­fore the sum­mer break when Lewis made up that deficit to Nico, I though no one was go­ing to touch Lewis, but Nico has come back at him. I’m go­ing to throw a span­ner in the works and say Ros­berg [will win the ti­tle].” Hamil­ton re­mains calm about his ti­tle prospects, say­ing: “Nico just did an ex­cep­tional job [in Sin­ga­pore] and we didn’t. What’s it go­ing to take [to get the points lead back]? Just some good week­ends, which we’ve had in the past.”

Ros­berg (l) outscored Lewis Sin­ga­pore is­sues cost points lead Ste­wart is­sued a warn­ing

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