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Hamilton remains pragmatic

NEWS STORY
02/10/2014

Leading the championship for only the second time this season, Lewis Hamilton is refusing to get carried away.

"I feel really good. It's an amazing feeling to come here knowing that you have a car that you can compete with," he said ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. "It's a unique feeling and a great feeling. Knowing you have a car that will allow you to show the ability you have throughout the weekend is something I'm really excited about. I just love this track, it's such a cool place."

Asked if he feels different now that he is leading the championship, he insists: "To be honest, I haven't really thought about it. After I left the race, I went to KL and I just switched off. I'm not really interested in all the talk going on, I'm just interested in feeling healthy and being mentally prepared. My mentality stays the same, I still feel like I'm hunting and chasing. I don't even know what the points margin is; all I know is that I want to be ahead at the end."

Despite the obvious superiority of the Mercedes package, reliability is increasingly a worry.

"It's not even something I want to think of," says the Briton, "any negativity I just brush it off. Naturally in Formula One, reliability is about performance. Every team is trying to be the most reliable team as well as the fastest and it's not easy to have both. It takes a lot of work to have both; we have done a great job up until now, but we can improve and we are working hard on that."

Asked about his teammate, clearly his feelings have changed over the course of the last few weeks.

"Nico is a true professional," he says, "he's shown incredible strength mentally, as well as talent and speed. I think he handled the last race with dignity and I'm sure he'll come here just as strong as anywhere.

And about that typhoon...

"This is one of the toughest circuits in general, but when it rains or there's a typhoon, it's going to be difficult. Positioning is going to be important, understanding the lines and paying attention to detail. In the wet, you're always on the edge of your seat but I'm looking forward to it; I like racing in the wet."

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