Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton says he’s “extra relaxed” than he has ever been in his tight battle with Max Verstappen as he eyes what he described could be his most important title win but…
The Mercedes driver arrived in Saudi Arabia for the penultimate race of the season with the momentum, having received the final two Grands Prix, nevertheless he nonetheless trails his Purple Bull rival by eight factors.
Hamilton stated he’s excited in regards to the ultimate two races of the season, after a year-long battle with Verstappen and Purple Bull, and that the expertise of his earlier title victories means he’s much less burdened in regards to the run-in.
“I’m excited to be getting within the automotive, I’m very grateful we have now these two races to battle it out,” he stated when talking on Thursday on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit. “The crew’s working as onerous as it will probably, I really feel nice.”
He added: “There’s a few bits which can be completely different [in this title fight], in a single sense as a result of we’ve received two extremely shut groups. It’s completely different as a result of we’re preventing for unchartered territory, nobody has ever received eight drivers’ titles or groups’, in order that’s new.
“After which on the opposite facet, I’m extra relaxed than I’ve ever been. It’s not the primary time; I keep in mind the way it was with my first championship and even my second and third, the sleepless nights, and all these kinds of issues, whereas I’m much more certain about myself and I’ve utilized myself like by no means earlier than.
“I do know I can’t change something from the previous however all I can do is put together as finest as I can for what’s forward of me, and I 100% know I’ve.”
Many imagine that Hamilton has moved to a different degree within the final couple of races, partly referencing his sensible comeback drive in each the Dash and Grand Prix in Brazil after his qualifying disqualification – however the Mercedes driver didn’t agree.
“I don’t imagine I’ve gone to a different degree, I imagine I’m simply at degree on the whole,” he stated. “Perhaps I tapped into one thing completely different in Brazil, that’s simply – perhaps I haven’t been there earlier than, I don’t know. I undoubtedly have in my profession earlier than, been in these positions many, many instances earlier than. However I’d prefer to suppose I’ve been doing properly all 12 months; you might be consistently studying, your environment, the automotive, find out how to work with the crew, find out how to get extra out of every member of the crew.
“I prefer to suppose that every one of us have [gone to another level], not simply me – it’s been the engineers, it’s been the mechanics, each member of the crew has pulled out extra and that’s what’s been wanted. We at all times want extra efficiency, we’d like extra focus, we’d like extra energy on the straights.”
It’s been an up and down season for each Purple Bull and Mercedes, with every crew having fun with intervals on prime and different instances the place they had been taking part in catch-up.
However ought to Hamilton come out on prime this season, would his eighth title be probably the most vital or significant one but? “I imply it might be, yeah, for certain. One being that once more it’s one thing that nobody’s ever carried out earlier than,” stated the seven-time world champion.
“It’s been the hardest battle that the game has seen for a protracted, very long time, and probably the most difficult, so I believe collectively it might be. Plus we’re in a pandemic, so all kinds of issues we’ve been confronted with.”
Verstappen is the one driver who can win the title this weekend. Victory and quickest lap would give him the title if Hamilton finishes sixth or decrease (see the title permutations within the graphic above).