Lewis Hamilton admits that the odds will be against him in Formula 1’s final-race title decider in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton took the championship battle with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to the final race with a superb victory in treacherous wet conditions in Brazil.
But he is 12 points behind Rosberg, who will be champion if he finishes third on 27 November even if Hamilton wins.
“Right now, it is going to be very hard to beat him but it doesn’t mean I can’t win the race,” Hamilton said.
“I am going to take the energy I have at the moment and really try to push as hard as I can in that race to get as far ahead and that is all I can do.”
Hamilton’s win in Sao Paulo was his ninth of the year, equalling the number Rosberg has achieved, and his third in a row.
It came after his 11th pole position in 20 races, and was the 52nd of his career, moving him one ahead of Alain Prost into second in the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher, who took 91 wins.
Hamilton again brought up the fact that he has had much the worse of the reliability at Mercedes this season.
This has included three engine failures that have directly impacted his points tally, especially one while leading in Malaysia last month .
Hamilton said: “I am going to continue what I am doing. Nico has finished every single race this year apart from Barcelona which neither of us finished.
“I’m hunting. All I can do is do what I’m doing right now. The team are giving me a great car. I am going to give it everything I’ve got and all I can do is try to win the race. Right now I am just enjoying the moment.”
Assuming neither has a technical problem, the advantage is very much in Rosberg’s favour as Mercedes have dominated the season and it is highly unlikely that any other team will be able to compete with them at the Yas Marina circuit.
Rosberg said: “It is going to be a great, exciting race weekend, a great battle for sure. I would like to win the race, definitely. I am going to try to do that. Feeling good, so let’s see.”
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said: “As Bernie (Ecclestone, F1’s commercial boss) would have ordered it, showdown in Abu Dhabi. They are going to drive it out on track.
“We just have to give them two cars so they can fight it out on the track. My biggest nightmare would be a mechanical issue but this is how the sport is.”