SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Lewis Hamilton can set more British Formula One records in Brazil this weekend but it is the world championship he wants and that will have to wait.
No Briton has ever won six grands prix in a row, or celebrated 11 victories in a single season.
The Mercedes driver, who has already overtaken 1992 champion Nigel Mansell as his country’s most successful in terms of race wins after chalking up his 32nd in Texas last weekend, can do both at Interlagos.
But the novelty – or gimmick – of double points on offer at the last race in Abu Dhabi on Nov 23 means his second title will remain in doubt even if he takes maximum points on Sunday and team mate Nico Rosberg draws a blank.
Hamilton, who is 24 points clear of the German with 75 still to be won, will be doing his best to deliver another psychological hammer blow to his rival all the same on what promises to be a wet weekend.
“I guess I have a buffer for the next race, if something goes wrong you still have an opportunity to be in the fight but that doesn’t really change my mentality or approach,” he told reporters in Austin.
“I’ve never won in Brazil. I nearly won in 2012 but was taken out.
“It is what it is,” he said of the double points. “There’s no point in getting upset about it. It’s just about being positive. I’ve driven the best I’ve ever driven this year.
“If I continue to do what I’ve been doing then there’s no doubt in my mind that I can come up winning.”
Rosberg, who now has the unwanted record for most second places in a season (10) as well as four wins, knows that a mechanical failure for Hamilton and a victory for him would turn everything around.
The German has had nine pole positions so far in the campaign but needs to translate that into success on Sunday and that has proved elusive.
“(It will be the) same approach from me: fully committed, full attack, try and be on pole in qualifying and then win Interlagos and that’s it,” said Rosberg. “There are still many points to be had and a lot can still happen.”
“In Brazil it’s even possible to completely turn it around. You never know what will happen there,” he added. “I look forward to the last two races. With the car that we have, it’s awesome, it really is.”
Mercedes have already won the constructors’ title and, with the drivers’ also guaranteed since their pair have no rivals, can continue rewriting the record books.
A one-two finish in Brazil would be their 11th of the season, one more than the record they now share with McLaren. A win would equal the record of 15 in a season held by Ferrari and McLaren.
Victory is by no means guaranteed though with Williams potentially a threat at a home track for Felipe Massa.