Lewis Hamilton: I'm Not Taking Anything for Granted

Adam PooleAnalyst IOctober 20, 2008

We all know that Lewis Hamilton only needs to secure a fifth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks, but the young English driver is taking nothing for granted and believes he still has plenty of work to do.

The win in China last week meant that the 23-year-old goes into the race at Interlagos with a healthy seven-point cushion over rival Felipe Massa. If Massa comes first in the race, Lewis can be as far back as fifth and still claim the title. (To see exactly "Who Needs What To Win," please see Ryan Wood's article.)

Despite having a comfortable lead, Lewis still isn't taking it for granted that he will be holding the title in two weeks.

"In terms of championship points, it can only work to my advantage to have stretched my lead over Felipe in Shanghai," he said in an interview on his personal website.

"But in terms of preparation, I have to look at things realistically and appreciate that I have another weekend of maximum effort ahead of me with the team."

"You can still take absolutely nothing for granted; I still need to pull together a strong qualifying lap, be competitive during the race, and avoid failing to finish.

"I know just how this sport works sometimes, so you'd be foolish to go to Brazil feeling over-confident."

Last season saw Ferrari crush McLaren and Lewis Hamilton, and with it being Massa's home race, will that mean they can do it again? 

Ferrari have some major work to do to even match the pace of McLaren after last week saw them seconds behind McLaren at every session and 15 seconds behind him on race day.

"I know we didn't have the pace to win last year, but I think things could be very different this season," he said.

"I know that Felipe is very proud to be Brazilian, and that he'll be pumped up to perform in front of his home crowd, and that gives you extra confidence and a mental boost for the whole weekend," he said.

"But it does bring extra pressure, too—you know you are there to entertain the people and you don't want to disappoint them by sending them home empty-handed."

Hamilton will be going into the race a week from Sunday expecting to see a lot of red in the crowd in support of the "home boy," Felipe Massa. But, Hamilton hopes they will still respect him as an F1 driver.

"I know that Felipe will be the crowd's favorite at Interlagos, but I hope that the local crowds will have it in their hearts to support me as a sportsman too," he said.

The race weekend for final race of the season in Brazil starts on Oct. 31 with the first practice session. Don't miss it; it's going to be a great season finale for the world or Formula One.