Lewis Hamilton has again had to fend off questions about both his Japanese Grand Prix tactics and the criticism that his Fuji performance attracted, but insists that he remains totally focused on getting the result he needs in China this weekend.
On the dais in a high-profile media conference at the Shanghai International Circuit, the Briton knew that he was going to face the usual questions about the last race and how it may have affected his psyche heading into the final two rounds of the season, but maintained his usual cool demeanour as he tried to convince the audience that he remained in control of the championship situation.
"[My approach is] the same as always," he insisted, "We come here and are going to try and do the best job we can. The car is very competitive and we were very quick here last year, but we should perhaps be a little bit more competitive this year with the good car that we have. It is going to be a very tough weekend without a doubt, so we will try and do the best job we can."
Denying that he had even seen the criticism of his Japanese GP performance, the Briton said that he was solely focused on China.
"I was in Tokyo for a couple of days and then I came here, so I've not really paid any attention to it," he claimed, "When you have not such a good race, there's always going to be criticism, [but it] doesn't matter whether it's positive or negative, you move forward, you put it in the past.
"Coming here, I feel just as strong as I always do. We've still got two races [left], we're still five points ahead, I still have a great opportunity to make the next step. My team and myself have really collected ourselves and are kind of moving forward."
Asked then whether he thought he could
take that 'step' where he failed last year, Hamilton would not be drawn, aware that he saw a 17-point cushion over Kimi Raikkonen disappear in the course of two races. The turnaround began, of course, in China, where a miscalculation by the McLaren team left the Briton floundering in the pit-lane gravel trap, but he insists that everyone has learned the lessons of both Shanghai 2007 and last weekend's race in Japan.
"We'll see," Hamilton mused, "Who knows what's going to happen - but we will give it our best shot. I feel good.
"I think, from last year, it is just [a case of] keep your head up, things happen - and, I guess, to avoid the gravel trap here. From last weekend, there are quite a lot of positives and I move forward, put that in the past. The team remain positive. We make mistakes together as a team and we move on together, so it's onwards and upwards for us."
While refusing to dismiss Renault as contender again this weekend, Hamilton insisted that he was not allowing former team-mate Fernando Alonso's alleged comments that he would be prepared to back title rival Felipe Massa's campaign to overhaul the Briton to distract him.
"Renault have obviously done a fantastic job and it is great to see them doing so well," Hamilton noted, "You can see how hard they have worked over the last two years, so it is not a surprise to see them doing well. They are a great team and I am sure they are going to be pushing us hard throughout the weekend.
"[However], I don't have an opinion on [Alonso's comments]. I focus on my job and that's the most important thing. I think we can be competitive this weekend and challenge for points and try to win. What the others do is none of my business."