British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes smiles during a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes smiles during a press conference in Abu Dhabi. VALDRIN XHEMAJ

Death of mentor to spur on Hamilton in season finale

MOTORSPORT: Lewis Hamilton will have more to race for than the win - and the Formula One drivers' championship - at Abu Dhabi tomorrow.

The Brit is dedicating the race to his good friend and mentor Aki Hintsa, who lost his 18-month battle with cancer last week.

Hamilton flew straight to Geneva after his last-start win in Brazil to be by the bed of the Finnish doctor who helped him early in his racing career.

"I was very, very fortunate to actually get to see him on the last day ... I got to see him smile, got to see the amazing man he was,” Hamilton said.

"Coming here while I have that fighting spirit in my heart from the last races I've done, I come here with almost double the power in the sense that I feel that I want to win this race more so for him.

"It's an emotional time, I'm here to try and do him proud, do well for him as he had helped prepare me and the belief he had in me.”

Leading the series by 12 points heading into the final race, Nico Rosberg only needs to finish in the top three to win the title, even if Mercedes teammate Hamilton triumphs.

But 31-year-old Hamilton is not about to concede in his bid to claim a fourth title crown.

"I've been able to win the last three races and I feel I can win this one,” he said.

In pursuit of his first title, Rosberg said he had to remain focussed.

"It's going to be a weekend like any other where I'm going to go for the race win, within the limits of what's acceptable of course,” the German said.

"The most important for me is to do an awesome performance here ... that's to do the same as I've done for all the other races.

"This is one more race, (it's about) keeping it simple, focussing on going for the race win, and putting everything towards that and not thinking about 'what if?'.

"That would not be the right approach for me. That what feels good to me. That's what I'm sticking to.”

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