HAMIL­TON TO KEEP PUSH­ING

GROUP ED­I­TOR

Motor Sport News - - Round - Pho­tos: LAT GT champ’s big year, p9

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.

Lewis trails Nico Ros­berg Hamil­ton took his 50th GP win

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