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Haug: Success next weekend no formality.

Mercedes boss Norbert Haug has warned that they shouldn't underestimate just what will be needed for Lewis Hamilton to clinch the drivers' title in the Brazilian Grand Prix next weekend.

Hamilton looks comfortable going to Interlagos with a seven-point cushion over Felipe Massa, but as the situation was the same last year - and the Brit lost out - Team McLaren-Mercedes won't want lightening to strike twice.

Speaking ahead of the 18th round in the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in Sao Paulo, Haug added it is of course a worry that things might not work out in their favour again.

"The title win is anything but a formality," he noted. "Lewis will be as focused as the team though on scoring the necessary points.

"Furthermore while of course, the majority of the crowd will support Felipe at his home race, what will count in the end will be speed, reliability, avoiding crashes, and the cleverness of team and drivers.

"We will concentrate on our job. We know that we have to work a lot until Lewis will be able to clinch the title. It is a task which we underestimate by no means."

Despite all that though, Haug does take comfort from how things have gone over the last few months: "Four months ago, after the races in Canada and Magny-Cours, Lewis was 10 points behind the leader. In the following nine races he scored 17 points more than Felipe Massa.

"Lewis started from pole position five times and was second on the grid twice, which means that in the previous nine grands prix, he started seven times from the front row.

"In these races since July, our team won four times, Ferrari and Renault twice each, and Toro Rosso once; in these races we scored 87 points, Ferrari 65, BMW 61 and Renault 60. We now have to continue this trend in the final Grand Prix of the year," he summed-up.

Related Pictures

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Norbert Haug (GER), Mercedes Sporting Director, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-23, Turkish F1, Istanbul Park, 9th-11th May, 2008
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