Hamil­ton heads into F1 show­down

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook

Lewis Hamil­ton has con­ceded that his chances of claim­ing a fourth world cham­pi­onship in Abu Dhabi this week­end are out­side of his con­trol, but has pledged to make life tough for team-mate Nico Ros­berg.

Hamil­ton claimed his ninth grand prix vic­tory of the sea­son with a dom­i­nant dis­play in the wet in Brazil. His third con­sec­u­tive win has closed the gap to cham­pi­onship leader Ros­berg to just 12 points ahead of the sea­son fi­nale at Yas Ma­rina.

Re­gard­less, with that cush­ion Ros­berg sim­ply needs to fin­ish on the podium to claim his first world ti­tle ( see side­bar).

Hamil­ton knows he will need some luck on his side, and some mis­for­tune on the other side of the garage to swing the cham­pi­onship in his favour.

Hamil­ton said: “I’m happy that I beat ev­ery­one in Brazil. And I’m happy that with the same car I beat Nico, and Nico is driv­ing at his best right now and on Sun­day he had noth­ing on me.

“I’m happy that as a team we are con­tin­u­ing to make his­tory. I’m happy at how great the new me­chan­ics that were given to me at the be­gin­ning of the year have gelled so well with me and now they’re do­ing such a fan­tas­tic job.

“But Nico is do­ing all he has to do, he has fin­ished ev­ery race and not had any prob­lems, whereas I have, so I’m in an awk­ward po­si­tion go­ing into the last race.

“It doesn’t make a big dif­fer­ence if I go and drive like I did on Sun­day [in Brazil], be­cause I’ve al­ready lost so much this year. But I can’t give up be­cause I don’t know what will hap­pen. It’s un­likely [the ti­tle chance], but you never know what can hap­pen in F1.”

Hamil­ton lost cru­cial ground in the ti­tle race when his en­gine failed and stripped him of a near-cer­tain vic­tory in Malaysia back in Oc­to­ber.

In con­trast Ros­berg, who also has nine wins this year, has suf­fered only one re­tire­ment – at the Span­ish GP when the two Mercedes driv­ers crashed into each other.

This week­end marks the first time Ros­berg has had the pres­sure of lead­ing the chase for the ti­tle into the de­cid­ing round.

The Ger­man said: “I will give it ev­ery­thing to end the sea­son with a win and the ti­tle.

“I have to treat this like any other race. Do­ing a good job on a grand prix week­end is al­ways a chal­lenge. Noth­ing in this sport is easy, so this won’t be any dif­fer­ent. I still have to go all-out to try and get a good re­sult.”

Pho­tos: LAT

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