HAMILTON TO KEEP PUSHING
Lewis Hamilton insists that he has no concerns over where team-mate Nico Rosberg finishes for the final races of the season as this year’s world championship fight closed up in Austin.
Hamilton notched his 50th career grand prix victory in last weekend’s United States Grand Prix – becoming just the third driver ever to reach that milestone in grand prix racing, alongside Michael Schumacher (91 wins) and Alain Prost (51).
The result also trimmed Hamilton’s deficit in the world championship to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to 26 points with 75 still on offer across the final three races.
Rosberg looked set to have to fight his way into the runner-up spot early on, but benefited from a well-timed pit stop under a virtual safety car to vault Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and limit the damage done to his points lead.
Hamilton said after the race that he would keep pushing to try and eat into Rosberg’s advantage, but added that he won’t expect any favours from other drivers taking points from Rosberg.
“Honestly, I just focus on doing the best job that I can,” said Hamilton. “I don’t really think about that [where Rosberg finishes]. I can’t control what’s behind me and there’s no point in hoping for anything, just hoping to do the better job on the weekend.
“All I can do is make sure when I leave this season I know I did everything with a full heart.”
Hamilton also conceded that he felt anxiety over his Mercedes’ reliability during the closing stages of the race in America. Hamilton lost a certain race victory in Malaysia due to an engine issue, which also cost him the chance to retake the championship lead.
Hamilton said getting the car to the flag was a boost for his confidence ahead of the final run-in.
“I felt comfortable today, but the whole race I was concerned the car was not going to make it, I was just in fear of the same thing, the same feeling, the sound I heard in Malaysia, so I was grateful that the car made it across the finish line and I have a lot more confidence in its reliability now. It’s going well for him [the car], so I’ve just got to continue to do my job and hope for the best.”
Rosberg can afford to finish second to Hamilton in all of the remaining races and still take the title by four points.