Hamil­ton will at­tack in Mex­ico with ‘noth­ing to prove’

The Herald - Sport - - GYMNASTICS - PHILIP DUN­CAN

LEWIS HAMIL­TON will head into the fi­nal three races of the sea­son with “noth­ing to prove” af­ter ad­mit­ting he is still com­ing to terms with win­ning a third For­mula One cham­pi­onship.

Hamil­ton em­u­lated his boy­hood hero Ayr­ton Senna by seal­ing a hat-trick of ti­tles af­ter he won a dra­matic United States Grand Prix, an achieve­ment he says still “doesn’t feel real”. The 30 year-old, who be­came the first Bri­tish driver to suc­cess­fully de­fend his Grand Prix crown, will now head to Mex­ico for For­mula One’s first race there in more than two decades. But Hamil­ton is re­fus­ing to ease up in a sea­son which he has dom­i­nated since he won the cur­tain raiser in Aus­tralia seven months ago.

“Sun­day in Austin is all a bit of a blur,” said Hamil­ton. “The race was so, so crazy and it wasn’t un­til a few mo­ments af­ter I crossed the line that I re­alised that I’d done it. To be hon­est, it still hasn’t quite set­tled in.

“To match Ayr­ton in win­ning three ti­tles has al­ways been my am­bi­tion. I can’t ex­press how grate­ful I am to ev­ery­one who made it pos­si­ble. I couldn’t have done this with­out them.

“I can at­tack the fi­nal three races now with noth­ing to prove and noth­ing to lose, so the aim is ab­so­lutely to put my name down as the first Mex­i­can Grand Prix win­ner of the mod­ern era.”

Hamil­ton, who will match Se­bas­tian Vet­tel’s record of 13 vic­to­ries in a sea­son by win­ning the fi­nal three races, added: “Af­ter the Ushanka-style hats we had on the podium in Rus­sia and the Stetsons in Amer­ica, I’m def­i­nitely hop­ing for a mas­sive som­brero if I make it onto the podium on Sun­day.”

Hamil­ton would have ar­rived in Mex­ico still await­ing his cham­pi­onship corona­tion but for Ros­berg’s un­forced er­ror with just seven laps of Sun­day’s dra­matic grand prix re­main­ing.

The Ger­man strug­gled to con­trol his emo­tions af­ter the race, launch­ing a cap at Hamil­ton as well as ac­cus­ing his team-mate of “ex­tremely ag­gres­sive” driv­ing af­ter the pair banged wheels at turn one on the first lap. But Ros­berg, who has won only three races in com­par­i­son to Hamil­ton’s 10 this term, still aims to end his poor cam­paign on a high. “The cham­pi­onship fight is over for me this year but I have three races left to make a big push,” he said.

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