Lewis Hamilton says he would take a potential Formula 1 championship defeat to Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg “like a man” should the German win the title in 2016.
Hamilton enters this weekend’s United States Grand Prix trailing Rosberg by 33 points in the drivers’ standings with four rounds remaining this season.
Rosberg is chasing his maiden F1 title in 2016, having been the runner-up behind Hamilton for the past two years, and is now in a position where four second-place finishes would be enough to clinch him the championship.
With title permutations already being worked out, Hamilton was asked in Thursday’s press conference in Austin how he would react to Rosberg winning the championship.
“Try to take it like a man. You can’t win them all,” Hamilton said.
“Look at all the world champions in the past who’ve won championships and lost championships – it is part of the game.
“I am in the position right now where there are still a lot of points available so I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and still have the belief that anything is possible – but then I’ll move on.
“Once it’s decided and it happens, all I can do about it is shape the future, which is the next year. So, life will move on, we’ll go into next season and hopefully come back stronger.”
Hamilton was forced to miss a Pirelli tire test in Barcelona last week due to a minor foot injury, but the Briton said he is now back to full fitness ahead of the race in Austin.
“I am 100 per cent, yeah, feeling great,” Hamilton said.
“I basically had an injury that I’ve been carrying generally all year long, in both feet. Just induced by running. Unfortunately the physio said that it just takes a lot of stretching and it just heals over a long time.
“At the time I woke up in the morning, I was feeling quite a lot of pain the day before, and it hadn’t diminished.
“The most important thing was to be fresh for here and feeling better for here. This is actually the first week that it’s felt good.”