Lewis 'heavily invested' in F1 & going for broke

AUSTIN (Texas) • Lewis Hamilton has said that his emotions are largely due to him being "heavily invested" in the sport, as he bids to keep his title challenge alive at Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

Back at the scene of his crushing Formula One title-winning triumph last year, when he scored a victory to end Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg's challenge, the Briton this time faces a very different scenario.

At the Japanese Grand Prix press conference last week, he played with his mobile phone and complained that the media session was "boring" and the furore that followed resulted in him walking out of a team news briefing two days later.

That led to more media uproar that many believed undermined his concentration and led to his poor race start that saw him fall from second on the grid to eighth.

He can ill-afford any similar slip as he goes into the first of the final four races of a roller-coaster season 33 points behind Rosberg.

The three-time world champion may be seeking his 50th career win at one of his favourite circuits, but he knows that Rosberg wants revenge after being forced off track last year.

Rosberg, also 31, has the luxury, however, of knowing that he does not have to win again this season to clinch his first world title. Four second-place finishes will be enough.

"We've got four races left to make the most of it and that's exactly what I plan to do," Hamilton said.

"Every now and then there are opinions about how emotional I get. But I think people forget how heavily invested I am in this sport.

"It's the same for anyone whatever they are doing, it's about how much investment they have put in and my heart has been invested in this for 23 years.

"This has been part of my life since I was eight. It is an extension of my life and my body."

Rosberg knows what he has to do in the title run-in and will be looking for something better than last year's disappointment.

"Last year this race obviously didn't work out so great for me, so I'm looking forward to getting back and doing my best to get it right this time," he said.

Both men, however, will be mindful of the challenge from a much-improved Red Bull outfit and possibly Ferrari.

A nervy and tense weekend is in prospect.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2016, with the headline 'Lewis 'heavily invested' in F1 & going for broke'. Print Edition | Subscribe