Lewis Hamilton says he is taking the approach that the gloves are now off as he seeks to end his time at McLaren with a championship to his name.
Hamilton, who confirmed on Friday that he will move to Mercedes for the 2013 season to end a 14-year association with his current team, will head into the Japanese Grand Prix next weekend sitting 52 points behind Fernando Alonso after he was forced to retire while leading in Singapore.
The Briton will mow hope to put that result behind him at a circuit he admits is one of the true classics on the calendar, with his only aim being to push for victory.
“When I first raced here in 2009, I couldn't believe a place like this could still exist in Formula 1 – it still feels like a proper old-school circuit,” he said. “It doesn't have the polish or finesse of an ultra-modern track – but is all the better for it. It's fantastically quick, too, and very difficult to master. It's an unforgiving place, and it also has that special atmosphere that you only get in Japan, for some reason.
“In terms of the championship, there's nothing to really be gained by analysing the points tables, from now on, it's simply gloves-off. As in Singapore, I'll come out fighting, I'll just be hoping for a better result next weekend.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said there was plenty for McLaren to take away from Singapore last weekend and said he hoped that the team would end the Japanese weekend on top of the podium.
“Despite Lewis's retirement from the last race, our performance in Singapore was encouraging for the whole team,” he said. “It showed that we have a car that can fight for victory on a wide range of circuits, and we're confident of once again challenging at the front in Japan next weekend.”