Lewis Hamilton plays down talk his 2008 title win gives him edge over Nico Rosberg
"It actually feels like I’m going for my first championship," concedes Lewis to Sky F1; Watch the extended version of Damon Hill's exclusive interview with Hamilton from Marina Bay below
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 25/09/14 9:33am
Lewis Hamilton has admitted he feels like he is currently battling for his first Drivers’ Championship given his hitherto solitary F1 title victory occurred six years ago.
Unlike Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg, Hamilton has past experience of both battling for, and winning, the World Championship with the 29-year-old becoming the then youngest title winner in 2008 when he beat Ferrari’s Felipe Massa to the crown in highly-dramatic circumstances in Brazil.
Two years later and Hamilton was the rank outsider in the four-way Abu Dhabi decider of 2010, although otherwise has not been in serious contention for the crown approaching the final rounds of the campaign until this year.
Rosberg, by contrast, is experiencing his first title run-in since he joined the grid in 2006. However, speaking to Sky Sports F1’s Damon Hill ahead of regaining the points lead at the Singapore GP, Hamilton played down suggestions his 2008 title win gives him an advantage.
“Winning the first World Championship, it came so fast, it came and then it went,” he reflected. “It actually feels like I’m going for my first championship, I guess it’s just been so long. It is different.”
Of the 15 drivers who have won two or more World Championship only one, Damon’s father Graham in the 1960s, has had to wait six seasons before adding a second title to their name.
Like former team-mate Fernando Alonso, Hamilton has in the past expressed a desire to match boyhood hero Ayrton Senna’s haul of three drivers’ crowns and the Briton admits he would be disappointed to end his career having wasted chances to add to his tally.
“I don’t come into the season every year and have a target, ‘okay, I want to get what Michael [Schumacher] has or…’ I always said when I was younger I’d love to emulate Ayrton, I think three [titles] was pretty cool,” Hamilton told Damon.
“But I’ve had that one in eight years, I’ve had a lot of difficult seasons – again, this season’s a difficult one. It would be difficult to have finished my career and have had the potential of winning a lot more and not [done so]. I think that would be difficult, so I’ve just got to do everything I can to make sure that’s not the case.”
With the psychology of the all-Mercedes duel for the title having been increasingly scrutinised as the fascinating season has progressed, Hamilton has insisted he just wants to do his talking on the track.
“That’s how I like to do it,” he said. “You would laugh if you knew some things that go on in the background but I just like to try and do the talking on the track – that’s what my dad always told me to do.
“When I was a kid, you get boshed around on the go-kart track and the first thing you want to do is go and complain to the kid or the parents but my dad said ‘just do your talking on the track’. That’s really been our philosophy. It speaks way louder than any words can."