Hamilton: As long as Mercedes don’t change their approach

After leading a Mercedes front-row lock-out for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton believes his team needs to stay focused on the big prize and not allow focus to drift away from the next task at hand, next year’s Formula 1 World Championship titles.

Speaking after claiming his 83rd F1 pole position start, Hamilton told reporters, “I’m confident; as long as Mercedes don’t change their approach, don’t change their desire to win… some teams decide to veer off and do some other business venture and lose a bit of focus on the main ultimate goal; as long as they don’t do that, I believe that we’ll be able to stay on this path and continue to fight at the top.”

Hamilton perhaps alluding to the manufacturer’s new programme in Formula E, also warned,” Ferrari have been doing an amazing job this year so we cannot take anything for granted, we’ve got to keep the hammer down, keep pushing as they will be.”

Hamilton qualified on pole in a best time of 1:34.794, which was 0.162 of a second up on teammate Valtteri Bottas and three tenths up on Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

The World Champion continued, “See how close they are right now and look at Valtteri, he’s been driving exceptionally well all year. I know next year again, third year with the team, he will be even quicker so we will have to rediscover new skills for next year.”

Time and again this season Hamilton proved it was he that made the difference in the team when it mattered. The stats don’t lie: the Briton seeks his 11th win of the season tomorrow, Bottas is seeking his first.

With a car that was not always the best, Hamilton dug deep to deliver the kind of performances in the latter half of the season that are now his trademark.

Thus no surprise he is already thinking about the W09s successor, “For next year’s car, I have an idea, for example, where the weak spot will be with these new rule changes as do they, so just working closely, communication and we’re all of us constantly working so closely together, really elevating each other.”

“I think this year, if you look at the team’s performance on the race weekend, that our mechanics, our engineers, strategists, we’ve all raised our game. We’ve been better than… you know it’s never ever been perfect, neither of us as drivers, but collectively, as a team.”

“I think we’ve really continued to elevate ourselves which is again, inspiring for me and that encourages me to go out there and not want to let them down,” added Hamilton in what is a clear rallying cry for Mercedes to take nothing for granted and start to think about next year’s campaign.