Lewis Hamilton says he’s targeting Sebastian Vettel’s ‘weak spots’ in his charge to the 2017 Formula 1 world title but is wary for the Ferrari driver’s reaction at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver took a stranglehold on the title tussle with a 28-point lead over Vettel thanks to his victory in Singapore coupled with the German’s first lap exit after colliding with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen at the start.
Focusing on the final six races of the year Hamilton says he won’t change his approach despite his healthy points lead but is focusing on Vettel’s weaknesses to press on with his advantage to seal a fourth world title.
“I think we all have weak spots and part of the process of fighting a competitor is always to try and find the exposed areas,” Hamilton said. “If you are playing tennis and you find out that the returner is not so good with the backhand, you then want to send it that way. So it’s about trying to identify that and then target that.
#OnThisDay in 2015:
Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix to equal Ayrton Senna's tally of 41 career victories.
It meant everything. pic.twitter.com/xihEyyAlF2
— BBCF1 (@bbcf1) September 27, 2017
“I’m just trying to my job the way I am and trying to be the most full and complete driver that I can be in all areas and hopefully not show weaknesses. Hopefully that little difference makes the difference, as opposed to another driver who may not.”
Despite his aggression, Hamilton is wary of Vettel’s response – having witnessed a rash reaction from the German driver when he deliberately drove into him behind the safety car in Azerbaijan – but is confident he can prepare accordingly ahead of the Sepang race.
“I don’t remember the last time he has faltered under pressure, so I don’t know how he will react and if he feels pressure,” he said. “Time will tell. He’s a four-time world champion, so it’s difficult to really know how he’s going to react.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) September 28, 2017
“Firstly, I don’t know how he’s taken it, the mistake at the last race, and I don’t know how he has reflected on it but greats generally bounce back so I have to anticipate that this weekend he will bounce back strong.”