Time running out for Lewis to regain lead

Lewis Hamilton Picture: MAXIM SHEMETOV / REUTERS
Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton vows to give his all in Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton is set to give his all at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix as he looks to bounce back in the Formula One championship after losing his lead to a rampant Nico Rosberg.

The triple world champion lies eight points behind his Mercedes teammate after the increasingly impressive Rosberg powered to a hat-trick of victories in the last three races.

The German triumphed in Belgium, Italy and in his 200th grand prix at Singapore 10 days ago when Hamilton, who finished third, was hit by mechanical problems.

With six grands prix left, Hamilton knows time is running out in a rollercoaster, 21-race season that has seen him trail by as many as 43 points at one stage and lead by 19 just three races ago.

“Singapore was a difficult weekend for me, so to come away with a podium in the circumstances was pretty good damage limitation,” Hamilton said.

“I have no idea if the momentum will swing back to me or when it might.

“I just have to keep giving it my all and hope for the best.

“It’s going to take some good results to get back in front and stay there – but I’ve had plenty of those in the past, so there’s no reason to think they won’t come back to me again.

“Sepang is my first shot at it. It’s a track I usually go pretty well at.”

Mercedes can seal the constr uctors’ championship in Malaysia with a onetwo finish, but Rosberg sounded a note of caution about their rivals.

“Red Bull and Ferrari are both pushing us really hard, so there will be some tough weekends ahead,” he said.

“Malaysia didn’t work out perfectly for us last year, so if we can win it this time against such tough opposition that would be really awesome.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo pushed Rosberg all the way in a thrilling climax to the Singapore Grand Prix, closing a 30-second deficit to less than half-a-second at the chequered flag.

But the Australian admitted that Singapore had been his best chance of registering a dry victory this campaign, so he now needs the weather gods to intervene to have a chance in Malaysia.

The race, which often sees rain and thunderstorms, has been moved from its traditional earlyseason slot to the middle leg of an “Asian swing”, sandwiched by the Singapore and Japan grands prix.

Ricciardo believes the calendar switch will not affect his chances of a wet race, which would benefit the Red Bulls with their superior downforce.

“I checked the weather and it seems pretty constant all year round,” he said.

A wet race would also interest Vettel, as he tries to bridge a 26- point gap to Ricciardo in third place.

Vettel drove superbly from the back of the grid to finish fifth in Singapore after a suspension failure in qualifying.

And he knows his way around Sepang, having won in Malaysia in 2010, 2011, 2013 and last year, and is confident Ferrari can finish the season on a high.

He added that Ferrari, 15 points behind Red Bull, would battle all the way for second place in the constr uctors’ championship.

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