Curbing instincts is tough for Hamilton

Curbing instincts is tough for Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has revealed his hatred of driving for points as he attempts to become Formula One's youngest world champion.

Hamilton found himself curbing his natural racing instincts during last Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, when he finished third at the end of the sport's first night race.

But the 23-year-old McLaren star also feels it proved a valuable lesson which will stand him in good stead over the remaining three races in Japan, China and Brazil.

"I think I learned something when I was behind David Coulthard in Singapore," remarked Hamilton, who has a seven-point cushion over nearest rival Felipe Massa.

"Previously, you'd tell yourself to be consistent and avoid any unnecessary mistakes, but it's one thing saying it and another to do it.

"Once you get in the car, it can be hard to stop the instincts you have been developing since you were eight years old.

"But I actually think Singapore was a good learning experience.

"There was less pressure to achieve a victory because of the unusual circumstances, which meant I was actually able to start thinking of the world championship.

"I hate driving for points, but I think we can all see the benefit of that approach at the moment."

The unusual circumstances referred to by Hamilton relate to the problems suffered by Massa, who finished an eventful 13th after starting from pole.

The Brazilian was embroiled in a pit-stop fiasco when he exited too early, knocking over two mechanics before heading down the pit lane with the fuel hose still attached to his Ferrari.

Massa was also given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release from the pits, before a spin late on caused Adrian Sutil to crash.

Such a disastrous race means Hamilton has a healthy advantage over Massa going into next Sunday's race in Fuji, where he triumphed last year during a torrential downpour.

Hamilton is naturally looking forward to returning to the scene of such a memorable victory, and hoping for one notable change.

"I love Japan," enthused Hamilton.

"Last year might have been difficult because of the wet weather and the poor visibility, but I actually really enjoyed that weekend.

"One of the questions I get asked most is whether I prefer to drive in the rain, and my answer is always the same – I'll race in the wet or dry, I don't mind.

"But it's always easier for us drivers to race in the dry, so I’d always prefer a dry race."

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