Lewis Hamilton insists he will not change his approach to racing despite his back-to-back retirements in Italy and Singapore doing severe damage to his championship hopes.
The McLaren driver crashed out on the first lap at Monza following a tangle with Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, and was then eliminated under the Marina Bay lights on Sunday after his attempted move on championship leader Mark Webber ended in contact.
Those incidents, allied to an engine failure in Hungary, mean the 25-year-old has failed to finish three of the last four races and he now trails Red Bull driver Webber, who finished third in Singapore, by 20 points with four races remaining.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has also leapfrogged Hamilton to lie second in the standings after recording successive wins.
But Hamilton will not back down should an opportunity present itself at the next round in Japan in 11 days’ time.
Asked if he would change his approach, he said: “No, I’m a racer. I always race my heart out, and nothing will ever change that.”
Hamilton, who has three wins to his name this year, also says the new-for-2010 points system means that a 20-point margin is no longer as daunting as it would appear.
“I spoke with the team on Sunday night, and we looked at things in their proper perspective: I’m still third overall in the points table, and I’m 20 points off the championship leader,” said the 2008 world champion.
“That’s still less than a race win – it’s easy to get disheartened by being 20 points away, because it sounds such a lot, but under last year’s rules, that’s only about eight points – and to be eight points off with four races left is nothing really.”
Hamilton, while falling short of blaming Webber, also feels he was very unfortunate to be taken out in Sunday’s incident, pointing out he was half-a-car length in front of his Australian rival.
He said: “I’ve already said that I was probably a bit too opportunistic in Monza, but, in Singapore, I’ve seen the replay and I was half a car-length ahead of Mark, and on the racing line.
“It’s just very frustrating that in Italy, I tapped the car in front and it broke my front suspension, and in Singapore, the car behind tapped me and punctured my tyre. I’ve been unlucky both times.”