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It was a defiant Lewis Hamilton that faced the media in Singapore on Thursday. Refusing to discuss speculation surrounding his future, the 2008 world champion was on the front foot with his defence.
"I'm not going to speak about anything but the weekend," he cautioned. "I've got no extra news for you, so use your time wisely to speak about other things if you can."
Coming off the back of two wins in three races Hamilton enters the Singapore Grand Prix as one of the favourites. He won the event in 2009, having finished third in the inaugural race at the Marina Bay circuit. But despite his pedigree in recent races, and that around the streets of Singapore, Hamilton believes the race is one of the toughest on the calendar.
"It changes from year to year but the one thing that's always tough is how intense the race is," he explained. "It's two hours long so it's very physical.
"You need to have more downforce here; there's not really much time to gain on the straights."
While McLaren won both low downforce races in Italy and Belgium, Hamilton dominated the high downforce Hungarian Grand Prix. "We had a different wing that we used for those last two circuits, and we won't be seeing that for some time now.
"So we go back to the wing that we had in Hungary, and provided that's working and we've improved the car elsewhere we should still be able to compete with people."
Hamilton has been the in-form driver in recent races, though the 27-year-old doesn't feel he's driving any better now than he was at the beginning of the season. "I feel pretty good about it," he smiled when asked about his season so far. "I've been driving pretty much the same all year, it's just that now the results are coming."
But despite the team's recent run of success, and his own uncertainties, Hamilton continues to push the team on. "We take the blame as a team, we take the positives as a team," he said. "Our pit stops are great, and still can be improved, and our races are great but still can be improved. We just have to continue that way."
Hamilton currently trails championship leader Alonso by 37 points, though he has outscored his 2007 teammate by 25 points over the last three races.
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