Lewis Hamilton insists his feet will stay firmly on the ground over the next fortnight despite being on the brink of championship glory.
Taking the full set of trophies back to Brackley! 🏆🏆🏆 #JapaneseGP 🇯🇵 #F1 pic.twitter.com/rFHovGd6nK
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 7, 2018
From there, he will hop across the Atlantic for his potential championship coronation leaving the final three rounds of the year in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi as a victory parade.
But after securing his sixth win in seven rounds at the Japanese Grand Prix to move 67 points clear of Ferrari’s Vettel with just 100 to play for, the Englishman was refusing to get carried away.
“It is very easy for me not to do that because I am very strict on not being complacent,” he said. “There are 100 points available and I know we have to keep doing the job until the last chequered flag. That is the goal.”
Permutations for US Grand Prix (PA Graphics)
Hamilton entered the final two rounds of his debut season in 2007 with an almost unassailable championship lead over Kimi Raikkonen, only to fall a point short of glory.
He added: “From past experiences so much can happen so I will be at the factory this week and the focus will be on extracting as much as we can from this car because we can always improve.”
While Vettel’s demise has virtually cleared the path for Hamilton to cruise to the championship, nothing should be taken away from the Mercedes driver’s performances in recent races.
Hamilton’s title defence got off to a slow start, but he has been in the form of his life during a run which has exposed both Vettel’s and Ferrari’s weaknesses.
“The championship is a marathon and not a sprint,” the Briton said. “I have been in cross-country races when I was a kid, and I have just run out of stamina to keep going, but that hasn’t been a problem this year.
“I feel very proud of our performance. We stayed on course with our plan and we have continued to deliver.
“I was with the engineers on Sunday night, and I said to them I hope you know you are performing at your best because as a unit we are, and you should sit back and take note.
“It is sometimes difficult to take a second to acknowledge the great work that we are doing, not just individually, but collectively, too.”Lewis Hamilton has benefited from a change of diet (Martin Rickett/PA)
Hamilton has also cut out meat from his diet in the past 12 months, and hailed his move to veganism.
“The big thing this year is that my health has been great,” he added. “That isn’t something I take lightly, and I focus on being well, particularly with all of the travelling that I do.”– Press Association