Skip to main content
The Circuit

F1 title-chasing Hamilton appeals for calm

  • Story Highlights
  • Hamilton leads Massa by seven points going to title-deciding race in Brazil
  • Massa claims the pressure is more on Hamilton, while he must go for the win
  • Hamilton needs only fifth place to become youngest-ever F1 champion
  • Next Article in World Sport »
Neale Graham
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Formula One world championship leader Lewis Hamilton is hoping for a repeat of his stroll in China at this weekend's title decider in Brazil.

Lewis Hamilton (left) and Felipe Massa go head-to-head at this weekend's F1 title showdown in Brazil.

Hamilton was in a league of his own all weekend at the last round in Shanghai, with title rival Felipe Massa, of Ferrari, finishing a distant second.

And the McLaren man, knowing that a fifth-place finish will be enough to make him the youngest F1 champion ever at 23, is looking for an uneventful three days in Sao Paulo.

Hamilton said: "I don't need to win the race, but that won't stop me from going into the weekend looking to be as strong as possible. Shanghai was a good example of that, when we hit the ground running on Friday morning and never looked back.

"Our aim wasn't to push too hard, but we found ourselves in a position at the front and took it comfortably from there.

"That's what I am hoping to achieve in Brazil -- a straightforward weekend that allows me to just focus on my car and my driving." Read more about F1 at The Circuit.

Trying to disrupt Hamilton's flow will be Massa, who finds himself seven points behind his rival. But according to the Brazilian, who has taken pole for each of his last two home races and who won in 2006, going flat-out is his preferred method of attack.

"It's true I have a tougher job than Lewis in terms of the points situation, but my own objective for the weekend is much more straightforward than his," Massa told Ferrari's official Web site.

"I only have to focus on winning the race on Sunday afternoon. The only thing I am thinking about is winning. After that, the matter is not in my hands and we will have to wait and see exactly what and how much we have won.

"For sure, Lewis will try and put pressure on me, but I have zero pressure because I have nothing to lose. I have my people behind me and all the pressure will be on him, especially when you think about what happened at this race last year."

A year ago, Hamilton also needed to finish at least fifth at the season-closing Brazilian Grand Prix to become F1's first rookie champion.

But his chances evaporated when gearbox gremlins dropped him out of contention, allowing Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to snatch the crown by a point.

"I went to Interlagos with the title battle still up in the air and all my emotions just bubbling up and down," Hamilton reflected.

"It was a very emotional time because I knew it would end with either great success or huge disappointment."

Holding an 11-point lead over McLaren, Ferrari are favorites to clinch their 16th constructors' title, and their eighth in the last 10 years.

McLaren have failed to win a drivers' title since Mika Hakkinen in 1999 and have not been victorious in the constructors' since 1998.

"There are 18 points available in Brazil and we go into the final race still looking at securing both world titles -- that has to be our aim," added Hamilton's team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen.

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print