Belfast Telegraph

I'll wrap up title success in style, vows Hamilton


All smiles: Lewis Hamilton celebrates taking another step towards a fifth world title after victory in Singapore
All smiles: Lewis Hamilton celebrates taking another step towards a fifth world title after victory in Singapore

By Philip Duncan

Lewis Hamilton will enter the climax to the Formula One season "with all guns locked and loaded" after pledging to seal the Championship in style by winning every race.

Following a dominant victory on Sunday, Hamilton arrived at Mercedes' hospitality suite in the Singapore paddock with his face glued to his iPhone.

Following a moment of silence, the 33-year-old revealed he had received a message of congratulations from the Hollywood actor, Samuel L. Jackson. "That's pretty cool," he laughed. "It never gets old."

Only hours earlier, Hamilton had taken a major step towards a fifth Championship after moving 40 points clear of Sebastian Vettel with just 150 remaining.

A Ferrari strategy gamble cost Vettel one position and three points, but Hamilton insisted he was not "lucking in".

And although he resisted admitting he is in the form of his life - after winning four of the last five rounds with some of the most complete performances of his career - he did spell out that he was going above and beyond in a Mercedes car inferior to Vettel's Ferrari machinery. He also pointed to the mistakes which have littered his rival's Championship challenge.

"When Vettel hit the wall in practice on Friday which damaged the car, and lost running on the track, that is not us 'lucking in'," Hamilton said. "I take a lot of pride in making sure that I don't put myself in those positions.

"There is a lot of pressure on us as drivers and athletes. Small percentages make the difference and if you get those wrong it has bigger ramifications.

"Ultimately we are over-delivering. Our car's true pace is 100 and we're pulling out 102, that is an awesome feeling. But we are not being cocky, or overly-confident. We are being diligent and working as hard as we can.

"In my mind I need to win every race. I want to win every race. That is the goal. Who knows what will happen, but I can assure you we will arrive at the next six races with all guns locked and loaded."

Less than 12 hours after leaving the Marina Bay Street Circuit, Hamilton was back to work in Phuket, Thailand as he completed a personal commitment for PUMA yesterday.

The Englishman will now take a couple of days off after a frenetic fortnight in which he has bookended victories in Monza and Singapore by launching his Tommy Hilfiger clothing line in Shanghai and New York.

Hamilton revealed he assured his Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, that his extra-curricular activities were not detracting from his £40m-a-year day job.

"Toto has been so instrumental in bringing Tommy to the team, and it's been a life-changing experience," Hamilton added. "But I said don't let it into your mind that I don't want to win this Championship more than anything. That is my priority."

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