LONE STAR: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton flys solo on the Yas Marina track on Friday (Nov 21) during practice for the 2014 Abu Dhabi F1 GP. Image: AP / Luca Bruno
ABU DHABI, UAE - 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 1 title.
The Mercedes driver reminded his followers on Twitter of King's words earlier in the week: "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."
'I WANT IT TO BE MORE'
Hamilton told reporters ahead of the 'Duel in the Desert' with team mate Nico Rosberg: "I've used that several times on Twitter. It's one of my favourite 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. He leading the championship and needs only to finish in the top two, something the 29-year-old has done in his previous six races, at Yas Marina to be sure of adding to his 2008 crown.
'MY BIGGEST MOMENT'
However relaxed the drivers may say they are, the pressure is still huge. That was evident in a tense Thursday news conference when Hamilton and Rosberg appeared together, barely smiling. Hamlton said:
"It's the biggest moment, the most important weekend of my life. Of course I know that." He added that he had a feeling of "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."
Hamilton has won 10 races through 2014 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," he said. "I think I've driven pretty well this year and I plan to drive my best this weekend."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP finale this weekend.