Hamilton: I'm here to win the right way


Following Toto Wolff's claim that he fears the title fight could be decided by another controversial clash, Lewis Hamilton is adamant that he wants to win the championship in the "right way".

With an eye on the infamous clashes at Silverstone and Monza, speaking to the Daily Mail last week, Toto Wolff admitted that he fears the 2021 title fight could be decided by a further coming together.

"If it was to come to the scenario of the last race in Abu Dhabi and they were to be racing each other for the title, whoever is in front is absolutely going to try to do the same as in the Senna-Prost years," he said.

"If you are racing for the championship and you see it fading away because the other guy is overtaking you, what tool have you got other than the one that makes sure he can't overtake? We've seen it with Schumacher and Villeneuve, we saw it with Senna and Prost... twice.

"I would never give the instruction to crash into anyone else," he insisted, "but if they go to that last race and whoever is in front wins the championship, they will be racing each other, hard. And I don't think you can control it. I don't think you want to control it, because they are the gladiators in their machines. That is what makes this sport so interesting, because it is ingrained in our nature that we don't like confrontation and then one is intrigued to see how that relationship unfolds."

Speaking to reporters at today's press conference, while admitting that he hadn't read Wolff's comments, Lewis Hamilton insisted that such a scenario has never entered his thoughts.

"We've never won a championship in that way, I have never won a championship in that way and would never want to," he told the media. "That's from my perspective, my point of view. I'm here to win in the right way and that's through sheer skill and determination and hard work.

"You know how I've won my championships in the past and I always want to win it the right way," he continued. "If you're going to lose it, you lose it the right way also, with dignity and knowing that you're giving it you're all and you've done things the right way and you've worked as hard as you could.

"All you can do, is give it your all and work as hard as you can with the team," he added. "If it doesn't work out, you live to fight another day."

However, while insisting that he wanted to keep it clean, Hamilton appeared to take a patronising swipe at Verstappen, who previously had a reputation for his hot-headedness.

"I have been here a long time," said the world champion, "and I know Max has not won a championship in a long, long, long time. So I know what it's like going for your first championship, particularly in this sport, I know the pressures that come with that, and so it's nothing less than I expected from him.

"Plus he's still a youngster and he's going to be growing a huge amount over the next decade, which I think everyone will be excited to see. So yes, just trying, if I can, to lead by example because as I said I know a lot of youngsters particularly that are racing, that are looking at what I do and what I say, and that's important to me."

In terms of the coming weekend, despite the Autodromo being regarded as a Red Bull track, the world champion is confident.

"Last year they were quite a bit quicker than us, so yeah you'd have to say that this is a Red Bull track," he admitted, "but we have had success here in the past. We did win here last time but that was only because Max made a mistake and got a penalty, otherwise, they were much quicker than us. So we expect that they will be very strong this weekend.

"The fact is we haven't brought an upgrade for a long time, since Silverstone obviously," he continued. "We know that they were bringing upgrades well past that and they generally have a little bit of extra performance on the rear end of their car. It seems like in the hotter places they seem to be doing a little bit better than us and this is just a track they've been very, very strong at, like Budapest for example, where they've been strong in the past too.

"But that doesn't mean that we can't be strong this weekend," he insisted. "We will find out when we get out there but of course, it means we have to extract absolutely everything and pushing absolutely to the limit, trying to leave no stone unturned, no performance on the table which can happen. We're trying to make sure that we cover every area possible."

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Published: 04/11/2021
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