Lewis Hamilton not for negative tactics against Nico Rosberg

The British driver was asked if he would try to slow up the pack if leading the final Grand Prix but said he had no intentions of 'backing up' and wants a big lead.

Abu Dhabi
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton made clear on Thursday that he has no intention of trying to 'back up' his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg if he is leading this weekend's title showdown Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

I want to get as far ahead as possible

The defending three-time world champion, who is seeking a fourth consecutive Grand Prix victory to keep alive his slim hope of overhauling Rosberg's 12-points lead, said instead that he will try to win the race by as big a margin as possible.

'Nico has been on pole here for the last two years,' Hamilton told a pre-race news conference at the Yas Marina circuit on Thursday. 'Here, he has been very quick. This has been a relatively strong circuit for me, but I've not been delivering the last two years, so my sole goal is to do so.

'In terms of tactics in the race, that has to come on Sunday, but that [backing up] has never been in my thought process. If I am ahead, I want to be as far ahead as possible. When you have an 18-30 seconds' lead, that is as painful a blow as you can give to the guy you are fighting.

'If you look at the last race (in Brazil), with no red flag I would be 30 seconds ahead.... That is more of an achievement than backing up your team-mate. While here it sounds like it makes sense, it is not very practical to do. You have two long DRS zones, it wouldn't be easy or wise to do so.'

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton attend the drivers press conference ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

Rosberg still in the driving seat

It had been widely thought that Hamilton would choose to 'back up' the field behind him, if he was leading, to enhance the prospects for the Red Bull drivers to pass Rosberg.  Hamilton can only win the title if he wins the race and Rosberg does not finish on the podium - while Rosberg will claim his maiden title if he finishes in the top three.

Rosberg reiterated his recent and successful mantra that he is treating this race - the first in which he has started as the world championship favourite - like any other.

'I am just fully focused on winning this race and that is all,' he said.

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