Austin, Texas, Thursday @PeopleSport11
Lewis Hamilton stands on the verge of history this week as he needs to out-score Sebastian Vettel by eight points at the United States Grand Prix to become only the third five-time Formula One world champion.
If he does, the 33-year-old Briton will join Juan Manuel Fangio, champion in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957 and Michael Schumacher, the title-winner in 1994 and 1995 who delivered five more for Ferrari from 2000 to 2004, in an exclusive hall of sporting fame.
Having won five of the previous six American races held at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, in Texas, Hamilton is a hot favourite to win again and wrap up the title fight, but he is distancing himself from that narrative.
Instead, despite luxuriating in a 67-point lead after a streak of six wins in seven outings, including the last four in succession, the Mercedes racer has done his utmost to warn against any sign of complacency.
“That part is easy for me because I’m very, very strict on not being complacent with our position and still there are 100 points available,” he said. “I know we still have to continue doing the job we’re doing now right until the last flag.
That’s the goal – knowing from past experience that so much can happen. “I’ll focus on amendments I’d like them to focus on making for next year’s car, but also how we can also continue to extract from this car because there’s still areas we can improve.”
Having tasted title defeats in the past, notably in his maiden F1 season in 2007 and when former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg beat him in 2016, Hamilton can draw on bitter experience to drive himself toward his objectives. – AFP