Lewis Hamilton Calls Talk of Championship Win at Austin ‘Silly’
‘I honestly couldn’t care less if it’s here or on the last race, as long as it’s done.’
Formula 1 fandom has been abuzz with speculation that Mercedes' driver Lewis Hamilton could clinch the Drivers' Championship this weekend at the United States Grand Prix. After overcoming a tall deficit with Sebastian Vettel in the first half of the season and setting a clear advantage of his own, the three-time world champ says that he is solely focused on taking home the trophy once more. However, he doesn't expect a cruise to victory at Austin with four races left to go and claims that he fully expects Ferrari to put up a fight on Sunday for the win.
Kicking off the race weekend with a drivers' press conference on Thursday, Hamilton was questioned about his approach to this race, which he has won five times in the past. He explained his strategy at COTA, saying “Nothing has changed for me, man. Everything is exactly the same as it was going into the last race, going into the second half of the season; It’s exactly the same mentally for me. Maybe it’s changed from your perspective, but for me, it hasn’t."
Hamilton professed that he doesn't anticipate a tough weekend for Ferrari like they've had the past three races, claiming that the Maranello team is too good to count on a failure.
"Honestly, I think the talk of the Championship win this weekend I think is silly really. I mean, Sebastian is going to be… you can’t expect them to have a difficult weekend again. They’re going to be quick, they have an opportunity to win," Hamilton said.
He continued to mention that Vettel's a strong performer who can change his luck given the proper circumstances. Having experienced similar misfortune last season where he narrowly lost the title to Silver Arrow teammate Nico Rosberg, Hamilton knows how different each race can be from the last.
“I think he’s been a strong fighter all year and just because he’s obviously had a few issues technically, but I think still the car is as good as it’s always been,” Hamilton said. “For sure, they’ll have some sort of upgrade coming into this weekend."
“They’ve definitely had a couple of hiccups, but I anticipate they’ll be very strong this weekend and for the last four races, so that’s why nothing changes for me. I’ve still got to continue to keep the pressure on and there’s no reason to back out, just got to keep pushing forward,” he said.