New Delhi: With just three days to go for the Indian Grand Prix 2012, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has said he may get a tough challenge from defending champion Sebastian Vettel this weekend. Hamilton, whose individual hopes of glory in the drivers’ championship are all but over, also felt that Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso could not be taken lightly at the second edition of the race.
“I will try best to secure as much points for McLaren and will also try to win the championship this year. I know I am on fourth in the drivers standing and it’s quite difficult but will not leave a single stone unturned in the remaining four races of the season,” the Briton told reporters in a press conference on Wednesday.
With four races remaining in the season, Vettel is six points clear of Alonso. Hamilton is fourth, 62 points adrift. McLaren (284) are third in the standings, behind leaders Red Bull (367) and Ferrari (290). At the Korean Grand Prix recently, Hamilton had to fight hard for 10th place while McLaren slipped to third in the constructors' standings - six points behind Ferrari and 83 points adrift of leaders and defending champions Red Bull. "We had a chance in 2007; we had it taken away from us. So, yeah, to have that again and go out on a high would be fantastic," said Hamilton.
McLaren last won the constructors' title in 1998. They would have won the championship in 2007 as well if the team had not been stripped of all their points for a scandal involving Ferrari. Hamilton, who will replace seven-time champion Michael Schumacher at Mercedes from next season, felt Vettel and Alonso had been exceptional in the 2012 season. "Sebastian has been lucky and outstanding in this season. He is very dominating on the track. He must be chasing a third championship in a row,” he said.
The 27-year-old driver was understandably honoured to be stepping into Schumacher’s seat for he next season at Mercedes. "Schumacher has done more than any driver in the world. I have seen him winning those championships sitting in my home. To jump to his seat is a real privilege," he said. “I have a task at my hands to fill in at Mercedes and it would not be easy. I grew up watching Schumacher on television and win the races. He is a legend and we all have learnt a lot from him. It’s an honour to drive with him on the track.”