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Lewis Hamilton homing in on title

TITLE ALMOST WON: Hamilton (PA)

THE NEGATIVE spotlight currently shining on Formula One in wake of the Jules Bianchi accident in Japan and Mercedes’ respect for the family of the hospitalised Marussia driver were probably contributory factors for the 2014 Constructors title-winners low-key celebrations at their base in Brackley and Brixworth.

Mercedes driver and championship leader Lewis Hamilton, 29, had already dedicated his recent win in Russia, which sealed the Constructors title, to Bianchi and his family but while the French driver remains in hospital a dark cloud lingers over the sport.

Of course, for Hamilton, there was another reason to be humble in the face of victory because the truth is the job is only half done.

Despite equalling Nigel Mansell’s British record of 31 Grand Prix wins with his ninth victory of the season and stretching his winning streak to four races, which has only been done twice before in F1 history, both times the driver concerned won the title, with three races left Hamilton knows how close he is to winning this years coveted crown, but anything can happen in F1 and where the former McLaren driver is concerned it usually does.

His performance in the three remaining races at this time last year were nothing to write home about but baring in mind his dominance over the last four races he looks to be in a good place.

The difference this year, as well as the car, has been his understanding of the team at Mercedes.

His decision two years ago to join the German outfit had many guessing whether he would sink or swim. His talent as a driver is unquestioned, but would he gel with a new team? Would he endure the period of patience required before you find your feet?

This year the Stevenage-born racer has seen those questions and raised them. With such dominance, even with some reliability issues, surely the new question is: should he win this years title, can he do it again next year and the year after?

Having made his debut in the sport seven years ago, Hamilton understands that moments like these don’t come around as often as maybe he once believed they might.

Reflecting on his position ahead of the US Grand Prix next weekend he said: "Nothing changes. I have to keep fighting and pushing as hard as I have been until now. If I can bring any more, then I will.

"There is never a comfortable feeling. I don't think I ever did have a comfortable feeling when I was in a championship fight ever in my life.

"It's tense all the way to the end and this is a championship that is going to go to the end. I just hope that the future is bright in these next few races."

Paying homage to his team for winning the constructors title he said: “This is what I have lived my whole life for, its what I wake up and train for, its every drivers dream.

“This is something that very few drivers get to experience in their lives, a car like this, a team like this. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”

He added: “These past two years have been the best two years of my life.

“I’m so grateful for all of the hard work (put in by the team). The synergy we have all together, the effort that is going in and the results that we are getting is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We can do this for as long as you like so thank you for all of your hard work.”

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