Sunday 15 December 2019

Hamilton hopes experience of title race can give him edge

Lewis Hamilton has been here before, as a contender in 2007 and as the eventual winner in 2008. Perhaps that will give him an edge. AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan
Lewis Hamilton has been here before, as a contender in 2007 and as the eventual winner in 2008. Perhaps that will give him an edge. AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

David Tremayne

It is 14 years since Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg last fought it out for a championship title, but while the German has claimed that their latest battle is similar, Hamilton disagrees.

This one is a lot more thrilling.

"I'd already won the championship," the British driver said. "We were racing in go-karts and fighting for the championship and I won every race. Back then we used to play Xbox or PlayStation when we got back to the room, there was nothing else.

"The only difference that year was that I am pretty sure we both finished each race. We never crashed out."

Rosberg's overdue fifth win of the season, in Brazil last weekend, was a reminder that he is as determined as ever.

He might have to rely on Hamilton running into trouble in the November 23 finale in Abu Dhabi, despite the controversial double-points system, but Rosberg has made it clear he will be happy however his first World Championship title might come.

Hamilton, meanwhile, has been there before, as a contender in 2007 and as the eventual winner in 2008. Perhaps that will give him an edge.

"I think a lot of people underestimate how good my first year was," he said, though quite how that might be the case when he immediately showed himself to be at least a match for Fernando Alonso, is a puzzle. "People constantly compared me to him, but it was my rookie year. It's different now and I hope that experience counts for something.

"In those two years, as far as I can remember, I definitely felt the tension more over those two [final] weekends. I probably don't remember much else, really. But I know I am more prepared now than I have ever been. I am stronger now than I was then, both mentally and physically.

(© Independent News Service)

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