ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton’s closest friends and family are elsewhere on the most important weekend of his life but the words of Martin Luther King are very much in mind as he bids for a second Formula One title.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” the Mercedes driver reminded his followers on Twitter earlier in the week.
“I’ve used that several times on Twitter,” the Briton told reporters as he prepared for his ‘Duel in the Desert’, the Formula One showdown with German team mate Nico Rosberg in Abu Dhabi.
”It’s one of my favorite quotes. You take all these pictures and post them, but you want to find something that’s inspiring to people.
“I want it to be more than ‘Hey, here’s me by a car... here’s me by a mountain.’ I want to tell them ‘If I can do it, you can do it.’ Help inspire people, really.”
Hamilton can do that by becoming Britain’s first multiple champion since Jackie Stewart took the second of his three titles in 1971.
The championship leader need only finish in the top two, something the 29-year-old has done in his last six races, under the Yas Marina floodlights to be sure of adding to his 2008 crown.
However relaxed the drivers may say they are, the pressure is still massive.
That was evident in a tense Thursday news conference when the two men appeared together, barely smiling.
“It’s the biggest moment, the most important weekend of my life. Of course I know that,” said Hamilton, who described the feeling as being ‘like a kid at Christmas’ but also relaxed.
“Why shouldn’t I be? I‘m in the best place in my whole life. I‘m with the best team, I’ve got the best car, I‘m in the best shape, I‘m excited, man,” he exclaimed.
Hamilton has won 10 races to Rosberg’s five and to many it would be a travesty if he were not to become champion. But he was not thinking about that.
“I don’t feel I need to come and drive the race of my life. I think I’ve driven pretty well this year and I plan to drive my best this weekend,” he said.
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly