Sir Jackie Stewart has urged British F1 title prospect Lewis Hamilton to drive wisely in this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix showdown, after attempts to win the title from the top of the podium in China led to the McLaren man posting his first retirement of the season.

Although he needed only to finish in fifth place in the penultimate round, Hamilton qualified on pole and set the pace for the first half of the race, stretching away from rivals Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso in tricky wet-dry conditions. His inexperience appeared to tell, however, when excessive rear tyre wear caused the rookie to slide off the road while pitting for fresh rubber, allowing Raikkonen and Alonso to slash the points gap and take the title fight to a last race decider.

According to Stewart, Hamilton should now ignore the temptation to chase victory at Interlagos and instead settle for the points he needs to confirm his place in history.
The Briton needs only to follow Alonso across the line if the Spaniard wins the race, and might need only to finish fourth or lower if results go his way.

"What he has to do is finish the race, more than win it," the Scot told Reuters during a promotional appearance for his new autobiography, "He needs to get it into his head that he doesn't need to win the race.

"It's a great temptation for a young driver, particularly one as good as Lewis, to say 'I'm going to go out and win the race' but, had he taken the other view in China, he would be world champion now. World championships are about winning, but they are also about success and achieving. He's got to get through the first corner, then finish the race."

Despite admitting that Hamilton still has a tough task ahead of him, in particular countering the pressure to succeed that will have intensified after his Shanghai setback,
Stewart insisted that he was still backing his fellow Briton to take the title.

"Lewis is capable of winning the world championship, he's the best young driver I have ever seen enter the sport," the Scot said, "But, at the end of the day, it will be down to his own intellect to deal with [the race] in the most appropriate fashion."

 

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