Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton says he doesn’t want to get complacent that he has one hand on the 2018 Formula 1 title with the healthy points advantage against Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Despite few hiccups, Hamilton has managed to control the 2018 season all-through with both Vettel and Ferrari faltering on numerous occasions which has handed the British driver a 67 points lead in the drivers’ standings.
The constructors’ championship sees Mercedes in command with 78 over Ferrari. As the season heads to the final four races and with a healthy points advantage, Hamilton says he will not get complacent as there is still 100 points on offer.
“Complacency is just not what I tolerate, so we will not be getting complacent,” said Hamilton to the media. “We have still got 100 points available – so much can happen and so our job is to make sure we arrive with the same focus and the same determination.
“Naturally, we want to deliver as we have been [all year long], so I see no reason why we can’t. But for me, as long as it [title] is done by the last chequered flag of 2018, that’s the most important thing.
“Usually, Austin is a good weekend for us and [it is] one of my strongest races that we go to, so that bodes well [for us going into the race].” It has been a weird season so to speak as both Vettel and Ferrari have looked pretty good on many occasions.
The way they won at Spa-Francorchamps, it was looking ominous for Hamilton and Mercedes. However, since then they have faltered and looked second-best with some masterful teamwork from Mercedes, making it much more difficult.
It has not only surprised the fans or the media, but also Hamilton and Mercedes. “When we got to mid-season we got that win going into the break and then again, really pushing to make sure that we come back even stronger so again, set the bar high.
“That’s what we were hoping to achieve, it’s not always the case, it’s really not always the case that you achieve your target but I think we have through really great hard work from everyone,” said Hamilton on their mantra.
“In terms of Sebastian’s performance, of course, I didn’t expect [such fall]. Up until the mid-part of the season they were very strong and then we obviously got to Monza and then after that they were still quite strong from Monza, Singapore and then at Singapore was when it really started to tail off.
“I definitely hadn’t anticipated that they would tail off as they have. Not only have they lost a lot of performance, lost performance… just performances have not been coming in the same as they had before, as strong as they were before.
“I don’t really have an answer for that and it’s not something I’m really focused on. I’m sure Sebastian could tell you why. We’ve just been focusing on trying to do the best job we can and maximise the potential of our own ability, that’s all we can do.”
Hamilton can win the title in Austin itself if he can win the race and Vettel finishes third or lower. If Hamilton finishes second then Vettel must be fourth while a third place finish for Hamilton will mean Vettel will need to finish seventh or lower.
[Read: Hamilton on the concerning radio call in Japan]