Lewis Hamilton has insisted he has no intention of taking it easy in the final races of the 2017 season, despite having wrapped up his fourth Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship back in Mexico.

The 2017 champion enjoyed a completely new Mercedes power unit last race, after a crash in qualifying meant he would be starting from the back of the grid and then the pit lane. Having said at the start of the weekend that he wanted to win the race in Sao Paulo he finished fourth after carving through the pack.

Hamilton said being able to unleash the full power, rather than save it, made the race a good experience and something he wants to repeat in Abu Dhabi – but this time from the front of the grid.

“It's like a qualifying lap every lap, because normally you're saving the engine to do many races and this one only had to do two races so yeah it was great that I was able to just push the whole way in the nice race mode,” Hamilton explained.

Hamilton said Abu Dhabi will be another physical race, with track temperatures in excess of 45C during FP2, requiring a serious approach to compete with Ferrari.

“It's been a really good Friday, it's been really positive, lots of good information today, lots of laps. Really long sessions they felt, felt like they went on forever and it's quite hot,” he said. “It's more physical here than it's ever been, because the cars are quicker than they've been in the past - hot and your heart rate is higher than usual so it was a good work out today.

“I definitely feel it more after this Friday than last year. And the car's feeling good - we've got some improvements to make on both long and short runs but it's very close with Ferrari I think it's like within a tenth.”

Hamilton was pictured cooling down by climbing into a fridge in the Mercedes garage, which he said made a difference to the Abu Dhabi heat while his crew made adjustments to his F1 car.

Regardless of the heat, he said he was still determined to win in Abu Dhabi in order to carry momentum into 2018.

“I have this real burning desire to finish off in a strong way. Ultimately, when you finish off strong it's a bit easier to start strong the following season and I think we've worked so hard as a team we deserve to finish with a strong race. Doesn't mean you have to win but to be strong.”

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