Hamilton dismisses 'silly' Austin title talk
19 October 2017 – Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has dismissed "silly" talk over his prospects of securing the 2017 championship at this weekend's United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton heads into the upcoming event 59 points clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, after his recent strong form, allied to a dismal sequence of fortune for his title opponent.
Hamilton will clinch the crown if he wins, and Vettel is sixth or lower, or if he is second, Vettel finishes ninth or lower, and team-mate Valtteri Bottas does not win.
Hamilton, though, insists he is not thinking about the title permutations, and is merely focused on triumphing at the Circuit of the Americas for a fourth straight season.
"I honestly think that the talk of the championship win this weekend is silly really," Hamilton told assembled media on Thursday.
"You can't expect them [Ferrari] to have a difficult weekend again, they're going to be quick, [but] we've got an opportunity to win [the race].
"The championship, as long as it's done in the next four races, that's my focus, I honestly couldn't care less if it's here or the last race, as long as it's done.
"I think winning [the race] here is the most important thing for me, particularly in amidst of all that's going on in the country... that is a priority for me, and you know what I'm talking about."
Hamilton added that Mercedes has operated at a higher level during the second half of the campaign, having gained a greater understanding of its W08.
"I think it's just really been that [we've had] confidence," he said.
"We're understanding the car a lot better this year, particularly in the second half of the season, knowing its strengths and weaknesses.
"I would say we're constantly evolving the process in which we work together, myself and my engineers.
"We often hit the ground running with a balance I'm more comfortable with, which naturally then helps you step forward easier throughout the weekend in the right direction."