Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he feels that his chances of retaining his world championship title are slipping away, although he added that the situation could still turn around in the remaining five races of the 2016 season.
Hamilton was on course to win the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, but en engine blow-out means that instead he has now slipped 23 points behind his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg in the standings.
“Honestly all year long,” he said when asked whether he felt that the title was slipping away from him. “When we had the problems in the first part of the season, you always have the feeling that it’s slipping through your hands, slipping through your fingers and there’s nothing you can do about it.
“Then when you have a splurge of good results and then a bunch of difficult results and it’s a similar feeling to what we had back in Barcelona.
“It’s not my lowest point. I’ve had lower points for sure. In terms of feeling helpless that’s for sure the most helpless it could be at this point. But I will try to find strength from within to be able to come to these next races hoping, and if I can perform like I did this weekend, providing the car holds together, good things can come out.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen in these next five races, all I can do is do what I’ve done this weekend, come as focused as I can be, put in performances like I have done this weekend and pray that the car holds together.
“I still have faith and hope and that’s a powerful thing.”
“As long as I end the year knowing I’ve giving it everything and I’ve done everything I possibly could do, and we have done everything we can do, that’s all you could ask for.”
Mercedes could have clinched the constructors championship this weekend, but Hamilton’s retirement and a Red Bull 1-2 means that the team will have to wait until at least Suzuka before it can celebrate.
“This weekend we came, as a team, we had a confidence that we were going to win the constructors’ title and we didn’t, so I don’t want to talk about the what-ifs, all I can do is focus on tomorrow and focus on my preparation.
“Again, still taking it one race at a time, I’ve just got to focus on doing the best job, there’s no substitution for hard work.”
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