Formula 1 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has insisted that he is hopeful for a 'straight race' and that the best driver will lift the crown following next weekend's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix – as his father suggested the 23-year-old 'climbed a huge peak' with his Shanghai success.
Not only did Hamilton triumph in the Chinese Grand Prix, he thoroughly dominated, leaving both Ferraris trailing in his wake to banish his painful memories of the 2007 event when he embarrassingly beached his car in the pit-lane gravel trap in front of the watching world – and, even more importantly still, ensuring he heads to Interlagos as the overwhelming favourite to clinch the laurels.
That said, the McLaren-Mercedes star travelled to São Paulo this time last year with exactly the same points advantage – and yet still ended up missing out on the title by the narrowest margin of just a single marker. Father Anthony is adamant that whilst it may be a similar situation, is a very different Lewis twelve months on.
“He showed his difference all weekend,” Hamilton Snr is quoted as having said by British newspaper the Daily Express
. “People talk about pressure and ask if he can he handle it, but he went straight out and did his job.
“He climbed a huge peak in China. He is settling in, becoming familiar with issues [and] learning to deal with problems. He is maturing in his job.”
Indeed, as he prepares to 'chill out' ahead of his crucial showdown with Ferrari rival Felipe Massa – who is sure to receive the whole-hearted support of his throngs of home supporters in Brazil – the Stevenage-born ace knows he can count on 'far greater' family support, and maintains it will be the driver who proves most to be 'the whole package' who will ultimately prevail.
“The family will play a huge part in it as they do all the time,” the nine-time grand prix-winner underlined. “At a race track the support of my family goes beyond any crowd. Just having my mum, dad [and] brother is far greater than 100,000 in a stadium.
“I guess [who wins] will be who is the strongest; that is what makes the world champion – who is most competitive, who is strongest mentally and the whole package. Hopefully it will be a 'best man wins' thing. I hope for a straight race.”