Lewis Hamilton has said that he is not feeling the pressure as the F1 circus arrives in Abu Dhabi for the final, championship-deciding round of the season.
Despite still having a mathematical chance of taking the title, Hamilton is an outside bet – given that he would have to win and rely on misfortune for his three competitors.
For this reason he said he was relaxed going into the weekend.
“I’ve been in the hunt for the world championship at the final race of the season on two previous occasions, so I know all about the pressure you feel when the title is almost within touching distance,” he said.
“This year, it feels a little different – although I’m still mathematically in with a shout, I’m fully aware that, being 24 points behind, I’ll not only need to win the race on Sunday but see the championship leader finish outside the points. And, even then, that might not be enough. So I’m not feeling the pressure in quite the same way as I did in 2007 or 2008.
“That’s not to say I’m going into the race weekend feeling any less determined or motivated: we’ve seen before that this championship can be unpredictable and volatile – and I think this last race of the year could be even more unpredictable than normal.
“I know from personal experience that the championship isn’t over until you cross the line on the final lap – so I’ll not only make sure I’m up there at the end, but pushing hard until the very end.
“It’s going to be a brilliant spectacle, and a great event for Formula 1 fans around the world I absolutely can’t wait.”