Sunday 18 March 2018

F1: Hamilton vows to take no prisoners in pursuit of unlikely title

Hamilton: still has title ambitions. Photo: Reuters
Hamilton: still has title ambitions. Photo: Reuters

Tom Cary in Sao Paulo

Lewis Hamilton has said he does "not give a damn" about ruining the title hopes of one of his rivals as he seeks to conjure his own miracle on Sunday.

The race in Abu Dhabi could go any number of ways, but for Hamilton, at least, the requirement is simple: he must win. And even then the McLaren driver would require the three men ahead of him -- Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and the Red Bull pair of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel -- to trip up.

Hamilton, though, has made it clear that he will not be treading on any eggshells as he attempts to achieve the impossible.

"I don't give a damn about any of those three," he said. "I am still in it so I will give it a shot. They have a lot more to lose than I have."

Hamilton did add, however, that if he cannot win the title he would like to see it go to Webber, admiring the Australian's pluckiness in the face of Red Bull's apparent emotional support for Vettel.

"Mark has done a great job this year and he has been told by his team what position he is in," Hamilton said. "Against adversity he has kept at it. I want to see Mark win."

Webber's chances of doing so could well hinge on Vettel's co-operation. The young German, the bookies' favourite to win the race given recent form, could decide to pull out of the way and let Webber through if he decided he had no chance of winning the title himself.

It would be ironic were Alonso to lose the title to such antics, given the seven extra points he won at Hockenheim when Felipe Massa was ordered out of his way. But the situations are not as similar as they might appear.

Massa was an unwilling collaborator whereas Vettel would be making a conscious decision to sacrifice himself for the team. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he had "zero doubt" his drivers would do the right thing given the circumstances.

Jenson Button, meanwhile, said he did not care who relieved him of his crown so long as Alonso, if it is him, "wins by more than seven points". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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