Lewis Hamilton has admitted his world title predicament is hard to take but says he won’t let the “unusual scenario” stop him from fighting right to the end of the season.
In the space of two weekends, Hamilton has cut what stood as a 33-point championship lead for Nico Rosberg to 19 points with comfortable back-to-back wins in Austin and Mexico.
However, even if the Briton wins again in Brazil and Abu Dhabi and finishes this season with 10 victories to his team-mate’s nine, Rosberg would still win the title by five points if he finishes in second place in the last two races.
Mercedes nearly pitted Hamilton from the lead
Having declared before Mexico he was aiming “to be the best I’ve ever been” in the final three races of the year, Hamilton has also now admitted he is aware his best may still not be enough.
“It’s great to be performing as I know I can perform and not having car problems,” he told reporters in Mexico. “Being able to show that pace out there and in the last race is a great feeling. I feel like I generally do most of the season.
“But I’m fighting for something that I don’t even know if I will be able to make it. It’s definitely an unusual scenario to be in but I’ve just got to push all the way to the end. One way it can be painful and one way it can be a great thing.
“But all I know is in the beginning of my career in Formula 1, right to the last minute, it changes. That’s why I can’t give up.”
Rosberg’s first realistic chance to wrap up his maiden world crown will come in next week’s Brazilian GP. The German will clinch the title if he wins the race, irrespective of where Hamilton finishes.
Hamilton has never won at Interlagos in nine attempts and famously suffered final-race heartache there in his debut season of 2007 when he was denied the championship by Kimi Raikkonen. However, even if he loses the title this year, he says the pain will not be on the same level as that near-miss nine years ago.
“I don’t know how you can prepare for losing,” he said.
“I don’t think you can prepare to lose, but I’ve experienced it before. I lost in 2007, I know it won’t be as painful as then, and I’ve lost many races, I’ve lost championships through my career so it’s not like I haven’t experienced it.
“And, of course, I’m in a scenario right now I know there’s more of a chance that I will lose it than the chance I will win it. It’s hard to swallow, but it is what it is.”