Lewis Hamilton 'better equipped' than ever as he bids to win F1 crown in Mexico

Lewis Hamilton insists he is better prepared than ever to sew up a fourth Formula One crown and surpass Sir Jackie Stewart as Britain's all-time greatest driver.

Hamilton, the 32-year-old Englishman, will clinch his third championship in just four seasons if he finishes in the top five in Mexico City on Sunday afternoon.

The odds are stacked heavily in his favour. Hamilton has seen the chequered flag in 22 consecutive grands prix and, of all those occasions, he has failed to finish outside the top five just once.

Hamilton won his maiden championship in only his second year in the sport, passing Timo Glock at the last corner of the final lap in Brazil to finish in fifth place.

The move, in the final race of the season, meant he beat Felipe Massa to the title by just a single point.

But how does Hamilton think he has evolved over the last nine years?

"The only difference is that in 2008 I was a kid," Hamilton replied. "I had all the natural talent I have today but I didn't have the knowledge or experience.

"I'm now fighting a championship-winning team in Ferrari and a championship-winning driver in Sebastian, and I am much better equipped than I was in 2008.

"It's been more enjoyable for that reason. I'm always changing things, adding things. Eventually you learn about yourself, what you like, what you can and cannot take on to continue to perform at your best.

"Racing is my priority and I have got to make sure whatever I do outside the championship complements that. So bit by bit, trial and error, I add things into my life."

Hamilton has been largely faultless in his pursuit of a fourth title - one which would see him join an elite band of drivers to have won the championship on more than three occasions - but he made a rare error in the opening moments of second practice on Friday.

The Mercedes driver lost control of his car on the exit of Turn 11 before sliding into a spin.

Hamilton destroyed his set of tyres - which may affect his race strategy on Sunday - but crucially avoided any contact with the barriers, and he gingerly made his way back to the pits.

"The day did not really start out great, with the big spin on my first lap," added Hamilton, who finished second in both practice sessions on Friday.

"That really threw me off and obviously made it a little bit tricky to get the run on the supersoft tyre. So I put myself on the back foot. But the single lap and then the long run on the ultrasoft compound was probably one of the best I've ever done."


 

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