Newly crowned Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has described the Brazilian Grand Prix as his “Achilles heel” as he prepares for the penultimate race of the season at Interlagos.

The 33-year-old claimed his fifth World Championship at the Mexican Grand Prix last month and is now focusing on securing the constructors’ title for Mercedes.

Hamilton’s only victory at the Sao Paulo circuit came in 2016, though he claimed his first F1 World Championship title at the very track in 2008 when he finished fourth.

“It’s one of the trickiest [races] of the season,” Hamilton told reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s an Achilles heel … The first year here was quite difficult but it has been improving over time. We still have two races to go and a championship at stake.”

Mercedes lead second-placed Ferrari by 55 points and can secure their fifth straight drivers’ and constructors’ championship double if Ferrari do not outscore them by more than 12 points in Sunday’s race.

Meanwhile, Hamilton said he is looking forward to facing tougher competition next year from a host of young rivals, including, 22-year-old Pierre Gasly, his 21-year-old Red Bull colleague Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, 21.

“These are … young rising stars that are already showing incredible potential,” said Hamilton who became the youngest F1 champion when he took the 2008 title at the age of 23.

“I welcome the competition. Naturally I do see a little bit of myself in them. At their age I had the same kind of eye of the tiger. Now it is a little different for me, I am one of the older drivers.

“But I feel like I still have that hunger they are coming in with. Perhaps there are things that I will be able to bring to the table and that they won’t.”

 

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