U.S. Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton says he is determined to inflict years of misery on Formula One rivals Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari. Hamilton is on the verge of clinching his fourth F1 world championship title, following his victory over Vettel on Sunday in Austin, and he can wrap up the title as early as next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, providing he finishes inside the top five.
His fifth win at the Circuit of the Americas sealed a fourth consecutive constructors’ title for Mercedes. While he has previously admitted that he is a fan of Ferrari, Hamilton, who is expected to commit to a new deal with the Silver Arrows — his current contract is set to expire at the end of 2018 — says he is only interested in racing for a team that makes him feel wanted.
“I do see the red car, and I am a fan of the company and the brand,” Hamilton said in an interview with The Sun. “It would be an honour for any driver to race those cars, but it has not been an option. If Ferrari wanted me, they would have approached me. I want to work with people who want me. If they don’t want me, it is no problem.
“I am happy to make their life a misery for the next few years. Sebastian just re-signed, so for me and Mercedes, our goal is to make him and Ferrari unhappy for the next three years!”
Having remained relatively tight-lipped on the subject of the pair’s controversial collision under the Safety Car during June’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the Briton revealed what he made of Vettel’s actions in Baku.
“How Sebastian behaved in Baku and what he does has no bearing on me or how great I can be. I know where I stand in terms of being a competitor to him, and I think he knows it, too. There is always respect. I don’t think, ‘You did this to me.’ It’s not important.
“It goes back to when I was a kid. I’d get a lot of racism. I wanted to knock the kid out who said stuff, but my dad would always say, ‘Do your talking on the track Beat the kid, and that is more powerful.’ Actions speak louder than words. Win the championship, and that will silence him.”
But Hamilton, who is now 66 points clear in the drivers’ standings with only 75 points left available, insists he is not letting himself get carried away with the thought of sealing the championship with two races to spare.
“I don’t really let my mind get there. At the moment, I’m just focused on winning, clearly, and I’m enjoying driving more than ever. I just really … the challenge, the pressure’s intense. Just always want to elevate yourself and shine brighter each time you get in the car.”