Hamilton: Backing up Rosberg is not practical

Date published: November 24 2016

Although he needs Nico Rosberg to finish off the podium in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton has ruled out any talk of backing his title rival up into the Red Bulls.

In the build-up to Sunday’s season finale at the Yas Marina circuit, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suggested that the best way for Hamilton to win the World title would be to bring the Red Bull drivers into play.

He explained: “We could be Lewis Hamilton’s best friend on Sunday afternoon if we manage to get both of our cars ahead of Nico. They are going to be focused on their own battle.

“There’s no point Lewis being ahead by half a lap – if he’s smart he’s going to back the cars up so there is racing behind him because that’s the only way the result will fall his way.”

The Brit, though, says that wouldn’t be “very easy” or “very wise” given the nature of the Yas Marina circuit.

“Nico has been on pole here for the last two years here, he has been very quick,” Hamilton said.

“This has generally been a relatively strong circuit for me but I have not delivered in the last years so my sole goal is to do so, make sure that I’m at my best this weekend as I have been the last couple of races.

“In terms of tactics in the race, that has to come on Sunday, that has never been my thought process.

“I always really just try to, if I’m out ahead I want to be as far ahead as possible.

“Generally when you have a 18-30 seconds’ lead, that is as painful a blow as you can give to the guy you are fighting.

“If you look at last race [Brazil] with no red flag, I would be 30 seconds ahead. That is more of an achievement than backing up your team-mate.

He added: “Whilst in theory it sounds like it makes a lot of sense, it’s not very practical to do. You’ve got two long DRS zones here, it wouldn’t be very easy and very wise to do so.”

Hamilton trails Rosberg by 12 points meaning a P3 or higher will guarantee the German a first World Championship title while Hamilton has to finish on the podium to even stand a chance at retaining the title.