Lewis Hamilton admits wresting world title from Nico Rosberg grip is tall order

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain speaks to journalists at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix, in Mexico City

Lewis Hamilton has conceded that beating Nico Rosberg to claim a fourth world title will be difficult given the 26-point deficit between the two Mercedes drivers with three races to go, but he insisted before Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix that he is enjoying rising to the challenge.

The pair go into the race with Hamilton knowing it is another must-win scenario if he is to keep his title hopes alive, but the British driver has welcomed the task.

“I don’t feel like I arrive at a grand prix, or any competition racing or not, and want it ever to be easy,” he said. “I love doing things that are difficult. If I go rock climbing I don’t go for the easiest wall to climb, I go to the hardest first. Sometimes I make it, sometimes don’t. I love the challenge.”

Hamilton, 31, had the lead in the drivers’ standings six races ago but a series of wins for Rosberg and two poor starts and a mechanical failure for the Englishman has switched the advantage to his team-mate, a turnaround Hamilton regrets.

“Would I like to be in a different position right now? Of course,” he said. “But that is now where I am. All I know is that I have this challenge ahead of me and I am ready to go. I am ready to fight.”

He did what was necessary with a dominant win at the last round in Austin and confirmed at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez that in some ways the situation had taken some pressure off. “I approach this race same as I approach every one, maybe slightly more relaxed than others. I’ve accepted that there are things out of my control, all I can do is control what’s in the car and what I do. So I’m putting all my energy towards that.”

Hamilton also noted he would not be taking any additional risks to keep the fight alive but still remains fully committed. “I’m going for it, that’s for sure. While my heart is still beating, I still have that drive to win, and there’s still an opportunity, even if it’s only 1%, I’m going to be going for it.

“If there’s any time for me to be the best I’ve ever been, it’s these last three races.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Giles Richards in Mexico City, for The Guardian on Friday 28th October 2016 10.26 Europe/London

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