MEXICO CITY — Lewis Hamilton says he is determined to win this year’s title “the right way” and has ruled out attempting to secure the championship by colliding with his rival Max Verstappen.
Hamilton is 12 points behind Verstappen with five races remaining, meaning the championship could still go down to the final race in Abu Dhabi.
Earlier this week, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he could imagine a situation where the title is decided by one of the two drivers forcing a collision in Abu Dhabi, but Hamilton ruled out trying to win the championship in that manner.
“We’ve never won a championship in that way, I’ve never won a championship in that way, and would never want to,” Hamilton said. “So that’s from my perspective and my point of view. I’m here to win and in the right way, and that’s through sheer skill and determination and hard work.”
Asked if he had any concerns that Verstappen may cause a collision if he is leading the title at the final round, Hamilton added: “You know how I’ve won my championships in the past, I always want to win it the right way, and if you’re going to lose it then you lose it the right way also, with dignity and knowing that you’ve given it your all and you’ve done things the right way and you worked as hard as you could.
“That’s all you can do is give it your all and work as hard as you can with your team. If it doesn’t work out then you live to fight another day.”
The seven-time world champion said he hopes to set a good example both on and off track at the remaining races.
“I’ve been here for a long time so it’s not my first rodeo,” Hamilton said. “I think at the core of everything has to be respect.
“When I think about and I hear the things that come out of drivers’ mouths, I do think about the young kids that are watching us and are looking at us for inspiration and guidance so there has been a lot of things have been said which is definitely not good for young kids that are watching.”