Lewis Hamilton. Picture: REUTERS
Lewis Hamilton. Picture: REUTERS

Winning is not enough now for Lewis Hamilton who would welcome a helping hand from rivals Red Bull in his Formula One title showdown with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg next week.

Rosberg will be crowned world champion for the first time if the German finishes on the podium at the Abu Dhabi finale, even if Hamilton takes his fourth race victory in a row.

With Mercedes dominant, and Yas Marina not the easiest track on which to overtake, the Briton has to hope others can get between him and Rosberg.

It almost happened in Brazil on Sunday with Max Verstappen overtaking Rosberg for second place behind Hamilton only for Red Bull to make the wrong tyre choice and put the Dutch teenager on intermediates that needed changing for wets.

Verstappen drove a sensational race from 16th to third in the last 17 laps but Rosberg was too far ahead.

"Unbelievable, when will it end?", said Hamilton of his bad luck. "Red Bull made such a big mistake with that call. Verstappen still had a great race and got back up to third but it would be good if they made some good calls at the next race.

"I am in an awkward position going into the last race," Hamilton said.

"It doesn’t really make a big difference if I go and drive like I do right now because I have already lost so much through the year. I can’t give up because you never know what can happen. It’s unlikely but you never know."

No driver has failed to be champion with eight or more wins in a season but Hamilton has nine after Interlagos, a triumph that also put him second on the all-time list.

The 31-year-old will have to beat the odds to become Britain’s first four-times champion given Rosberg’s 12-point lead.

"I am happy that I beat everyone today … Nico is driving at his best right now and today he had nothing on me," said Hamilton after yet another Mercedes one-two.

Rosberg, who also has nine wins, has finished second in the last three races.


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