“Relaxed” Lewis happy to play it safe

lrg-1510-f1gp03bah0882Nothing but the title will do for British hope Lewis Hamilton, even if it means watching the scarlet cars canter to victory.

Hamilton narrowly missed out on the world championship in his maiden year after bad luck and incident including his infamous excurision into the pit-lane gravel in the rain at China and an over-ambitious over-taking attempt on team mate Fernando Alonso in Brazil wrecked havoc with his title bid.

One year on and the British ace is adopting an altogether more measured approach to the title race.

“Clearly, I want to win all the time, but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s more advantageous to score as many points as possible and live to fight another day,” he said.

“My aim is still to win the world championship and you don’t do that by ending up in the barriers after making an opportunistic move.”

Hamilton extended his lead in the championship after following Felipe Massa home in Valencia to take second place. The conservative approach, which was adopted partly because he was unwell, but also to reduce the risk of his McLaren breaking down, could become a familiar sight in the remaining races.

“In Valencia, we scored a very useful haul of points and I’ve actually come away from the weekend having extended my lead in the championship despite losing two points to Felipe.”

“I’m mentally strong enough to be able to deal with that and I’m more relaxed about it too. I’m playing a long game.”