Lewis Hamilton has been trying in vain to become a four-time champion, but the powers that be seem to be doing their level best to pin him to the ground. He’s encountered a litany of issues thus far, including poor starts, collisions and reliability problems. In the meantime, Nico Rosberg has yet to be bested this year and has enjoyed six straight victories since last November.
However, Hamilton fully intends on snatching all those 450 points up for grabs in the 18 remaining rounds left this season. But he’s hardly going to behave like it’s a piece of cake. Anyone would would be a full to take Rosberg’s 36-point title lead lightly.
“It’s 36 points, it’s a lot of points, a race and a bit, and I don’t take it for granted that it is a big step.”
Not that Hamilton hasn’t made do with much less going in his favour though. In 2014, he managed to win the title by overcoming similar setbacks twice, the second time with only seven races left in the entire season. 18 rounds is comparatively a piece of cake, though he wouldn’t be Lewis Hamilton if he was foolish enough to let down his guard.
“I know I’ve got work to do. I don’t look at it and think, ‘Ah, it’s nothing,’ but on the flip side, in a shorter period of time I’ve come from 29 [points behind].
“There are 18 races, it’s an average of two points a race [to make up], so it’s not impossible.”
But with an opponent of Rosberg’s calibre, Hamilton may have to make up for much more than a few missed opportunities. Rosberg is very much in form and primed for the fight, so he will have quite the skirmish to battle through in Sochi. But even then, he feels it might be an exaggeration to call his competitor the greatest challenge he’s ever faced in his career.
“It’s one of them, but I’ve been racing 23 years and there’ve been quite a lot of challenges from the get-go.”
He’s very much hoping for a clean weekend in Russia without the disturbances that had him starting last in both Bahrain and China. It would surely be suicide to succumb to weakness before a rival like Rosberg and Hamilton knows that all too well.