Hamilton shrugs off pressure as sixth title triumph beckons

Hamilton taking Texas title tussle in his stride (AFP Photo/Mark RALSTON)
Hamilton taking Texas title tussle in his stride (AFP Photo/Mark RALSTON)

Austin (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton will treat Sunday’s United States Grand Prix the same as any other despite only requiring four points to win a sixth drivers’ world championship.

The 34-year-old Briton, who qualified a disappointing fifth on the grid at the Circuit of the Americas, will focus on "turning a negative into a positive", he said late Saturday in Texas.

"I will approach it exactly the same," the Mercedes driver said.

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"I'm not looking to perform miracles. Things happen for a reason and today is a lesson learned -- try to see if I can turn a negative into a positive tomorrow."

Close observers of Hamilton and his career expect him to mount a bid for victory on Sunday at a track where he has won five of the previous seven races.

Fellow-Briton Damon Hill, who won the drivers’ world championship in 1996, posted an upbeat comment on Twitter, saying: "When @LewisHamilton's chin hits the deck, I worry. But he'll have a good nights rest and fight his way to the front and bag that No. 6 Title. You better believe it!"

Hamilton can only be stopped from winning the championship if his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who secured pole position, wins the race and he fails to finish in the top eight.

Hamilton won from fourth on the grid in Mexico last weekend and will believe he can still seek a stylish delivery of his sixth title by winning.

"I don't look at this race as a particularly important," he said.

"It's as important as any other race to me – it’s not a stand-out, individual, important race for me. There are still two more."

Talking to reporters, he reflected on previous championship wins.

"It’s been the same pressure every time even if the circumstances are always different. In Brazil, it was the last corner and then in Abu Dhabi it was the last race, with double points for a win.

“It doesn't make a massive difference to me. The pressure feels similar and I’m not someone who pressure gets to."

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