Mercedes Lewis Hamilton may be favourite for the 2014 title, but he knows that fate may yet have other ideas in store, especially with double points on offer at the final round in Abu Dhabi. Whatever ultimately happens, either this weekend in Brazil or at the subsequent season finale, Hamilton says he can console himself with the knowledge that he will have done all he can to secure a second drivers crown
Q: How different, or how similar, is the fight with Nico Rosberg for the Formula One drivers title compared to that the two of you had years ago when karting?
Lewis Hamilton: That was a long time ago - I think it was in 2000. This year is a lot more intense, not only from the mental point of view but also physically. The level of stress is now very high. Back then wed just arrive, enjoy our karts and eat pizza every weekend. We were fighting on the track and having fun. Now this is a business, so it is very different from back then.
Q: You said that you are a big fan of Ayrton Senna, so how does coming to Brazil influence you?
LH: He really inspired me as a kid, and he still does today. I have watched the movie Racing is in my blood God knows how many times. I always aspired to achieve what he achieved. If somebody mentions my name in the same sentence as his I really feel honoured. I come here and I still feel his presence; it is really amazing that he still lives on through his fans and his country. This is really amazing, and I would not be sure if this would be the case if Id passed away. I met his niece yesterday and got very positive feedback, and she told me that her mum is a great fan of mine.
Q: You have a comfortable lead over your team mate going into the last two races: how does this affect your strategy?
LH: I do not come to the last two races with a particular game plan. I come to this race with the same approach as the last few races, or even the whole season. I want to win a championship by winning races, and not necessarily by finishing fifth or whatever other result. It is probably the most intense part of the season right now. I do feel a lot different than at the same time in 2007 or 2008. Now I feel excited and relaxed. We have a great team and a great car. If we just do what we have done in the races before, and even use what we have learned in the races before, that would even be better.
Q: There is a prediction of rain for this weekend. What would be your preference?
LH: Of course when it rains it makes things much more difficult for us drivers, and, of course, also exciting. I would say this year I do feel much more comfortable in the car as opposed to last year, as back then it did not feel good to me. For sure it would make it much easier if it was dry, but I am ready for whatever. Also for the fans I do hope that it stays dry, as sitting in the rain is maybe not so nice. Either way, I am prepared. Remember back in Suzuka: we had a good race there when it was raining, so both ways I feel comfortable that we can have a good race.
Q: The Interlagos track facilities will be improved for next year. What would you change?
LH: To be honest, the only things that I would change are the team hospitality buildings. Personally I would not like the paddock to be moved away from here. I have known this track since I was a kid, and it was always like this. The paddock was the centre of the track, and it would feel strange if this were to change. This track has somehow always kept its character. Also the garages are perfect.
Q: If one does not need to win a race to potentially become world champion, it feels easier than the other way around. For example, in 2008 you had to finish only fifth to become world champion. What difference does this make for the actual race day?
LH: In 2008 it was everything but easy. I think the races where I had to end up at a certain position were the most difficult ones in my racing career, and especially the one in 2008 was not easy. I also do not think that I should change my approach for this race. I know that I need to make my engine, the gearbox and the whole car work for the entire weekend. Besides that I need to be quick and try to lead the race. By doing this I do not feel that I am taking more, or less risk. We just do the same as we did in the races before.
Q: Are there any fears or concerns for the next two races?
LH: I do not have any fears to be honest. I feel that it has not been by mistake that I am where I am today. It has not been luck that I am in this team, as there have been reasons for that - and also reasons for the time. There are reasons why we have the best car, and reasons why we had the results this year, simply because we have worked very hard to achieve them. I also feel that I have done everything that I could do so far and that is very important. Also for the next two races I will do the best I can. Whatever the result at the end of the day is, I know that I did my best. And that is a good feeling to have, and this is exactly why I am excited getting into the car here.
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