Lewis Hamilton says he is prepared to tackle whatever the Brazilian GP has in store on Sunday as he eyes a victory to take the title fight down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.
The Interlagos pole-sitter also expects a “fair fight” with Nico Rosberg with his Mercedes team-mate knowing victory for himself will see him crowned as world champion for the first time.
Warm and dry weather from Friday has given way to cooler and damp conditions for the weekend with the threat of rain showers lurking over the race.
Hamilton calls on Red Bulls to attack
And Hamilton, who has never won in nine attempts in Brazil, admits a wet Sunday could play more to his advantage on this occasion.
“I don’t really mind,” he said. “You often want a wet race when you’re further behind to give you an opportunity to get further ahead.
“But I guess in this scenario I’m on pole but I’m actually behind in points, so it wouldn’t be so bad if it did rain.
“Honestly, I feel prepared for either scenario – and I love either scenario. I love driving in the wet, of course it makes it more of a lottery, so I feel like we are prepared and ready for whatever comes [in the race].”
Victories in Brazil and Abu Dhabi would still not be enough for Hamilton to overturn Rosberg’s 19-point advantage if the German also finishes on the podium in the final two rounds.
Conclusions from Brazilian GP Qualifying
Barring a retirement from his team-mate, Hamilton therefore realistically needs the Red Bulls and Ferraris, who start behind Mercedes on the grid in Brazil, to challenge Rosberg for position – not that the world champion believes there is anything he can directly do on track to try and influence that.
“I’m sure you could maybe try to be smart, but you’ll just screw yourself over, so it’s not something I’d ever do anyway,” he said. “I want to win because I’m the best, not through tactics or anything like that.
“Obviously I’m in this awkward position due to a lot of issues we’ve had this year and there’s nothing I can do about that. I’m quite happy with my qualifying, I’ve had 11 poles, and I didn’t even do qualifying in three of them [races] which were ones Nico got.
“So I’m happy with how the season has gone so far and I’ve got to keep pushing.”
Knowing a race win will see him crowned champion, Sunday’s Interlagos race is arguably the most significant of Rosberg’s 10-year F1 career. Although F1’s ultimate prize is now so close for his team-mate, Hamilton insisted: “I don’t go into the race expecting anything less than a fair fight.
“Of course, you can look at history and what some drivers have done in the past but I would like to think higher of him and that would not be something he would do.
“But I just need to make sure I’m ahead.”
Don’t miss the Brazilian GP on Sunday evening. The race is live at 4pm on Sportsclubsociety F1; Watch with a NOW TV day pass – £6.99, no contract