Hamilton denies being lucky in title fight

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton rejects suggestions that he has ‘lucked’ his way to a 40-point lead in the Formula 1 World Championship.

The Mercedes driver has won the last two races despite both Monza and Marina Bay expected to favour Ferrari.

The Scuderia locked out the front row for their home grand prix but Sebastian Vettel spun on the first lap due to contact with Hamilton, before the Brit ran down Kimi Raikkonen.

In Singapore, Car #44 effectively led all the way after Hamilton took a surprise pole position.

Vettel finished fourth and then third in those two races, resulting in his gap to Hamilton expanding from 17 points to 40, the equivalent of 1.6 race wins, in that time.

The German also lost a likely win on home soil in July, when Hamilton also took victory.

Hamilton does not consider himself fortunate, rather that he has been good enough to avoid the challenges which Vettel has faced due to mistakes such as brushing the wall in Practice 2 in Singapore.

“I don’t look at it and think we’ve lucked in,” he said.

“When Vettel hit the wall the other day, damaged the car and lost running on the track, that’s not us lucking in. I take a lot of pride in not putting myself in those positions.

“I know my team is relying on me just as his team is relying on him. There’s a lot of pressure on us drivers. It’s only small percentages that you get wrong and they have bigger ramifications.

“As a team we honestly don’t waste any time wondering what they’re doing, or if they’re feeling pressure, or if they’re feeling happy or unhappy.

“There’s nothing we can do about them; all we can do is be the best we can over a weekend.”

With six grands prix remaining, Hamilton is only three points short of a situation whereby he could finish every race in second and still be guaranteed the championship.

However, in a season in which Ferrari has turned the tables with respect to car performance on Mercedes, the 33-year-old predicts no let-up from the Brackley team anytime soon.

“There are still a lot of points available, so as an athlete, as a team, and as competitors, you have to stay positive,” reasoned Hamilton.

“Hope and belief are two things that you always need to make sure you have. Even when the going gets tough, that’s what sport and competition is about.

“I’m sure (Ferrari) will go away from this as a difficult weekend, as we’ve had difficult weekends, and come back stronger for the next one.

“But I can assure you that we as a team, we’re not cocky or overly confident. We are being diligent and working as hard as we can. We want to keep hammering away as we are.

“If they’ve got an answer to that, then we don’t mind that battle. And if they don’t, then we also don’t mind that.

“There is just no need for me to look at the next few races and think ‘OK, I need that there, and that there’. In my mind I need to win every race, simple as that.

“I focus on that and arrive wanting to win. There will be weekends when we know that maybe we’ll be comfortably stronger, and there will be weekends like this where we expect to be behind but we still have that belief that we can win.

“I want to win every race, that’s the goal. I’m just not looking at the points. It’s nice having (a lead of) 40 points, but it’s not the end until it’s mathematically impossible (to lose).”

Round 16 is the Russian Grand Prix on September 28-30.

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