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Last Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Hamilton defiant over title race
By Andrew Benson
at Spa-Francorchamps

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
Hamilton believes he can regain the edge on Alonso in the last races
Lewis Hamilton is confident he can hold off McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso in the title race after being outpaced for the second consecutive race.

In Belgium, Alonso was one place ahead of fourth-placed Hamilton to cut the championship's leader gap to two points

But the Briton said: "I'm not worried. Fernando has done a fantastic job and I don't feel it's going to be that way for the last three races.

"I'm still leading the world championship. I still feel positive."

Hamilton, 22, said he believed the advantage would ebb and flow between the two men in the remaining Japanese, Chinese and Brazilian races, just as it had so far this season.

"It's come down a bit closer but we've still got three tracks that are a bit fresh and new to me," he added.

I've never felt favourite, but it's always easier when you're chasing someone than defending

Lewis Hamilton

"On some tracks he'll be faster than me and on some I'll be faster than him, so, fingers crossed, the last three are better for me.

"I just need to pull my socks up, I guess."

However, Hamilton revealed that he was beginning to feel the toll of a difficult year.

"I've never felt favourite but it's always easier when you're chasing someone than defending," he stated.

"When you're leading it's always harder to maintain that consistency and everything but I feel I'm going to come out of this weekend still in the points.

"I think I just need to refocus myself for the last three races. It's been quite an intense season."

Hamilton, who is in his first full season, has lagged behind Alonso for the last two events after failing to get his car set up to his liking.


And he conceded he could be suffering for his lack of experience, compared to the double world champion.

"I don't know whether it has caught me out but, for sure, experience is always an advantage," said Hamilton.

"Sometimes you start the weekend and you just chip away at that advantage and it's a lot smaller by the end of the weekend.

"But in the last couple of races I haven't been able to really fully fine-tune the car and really feel 100% so when that happens you're bound to lose some time."

And Hamilton also dismissed suggestions by motorsport boss Max Mosley that the title would be tainted this year because of the spy scandal that has embroiled McLaren.

The FIA president said that Hamilton and Alonso would have been thrown out of the Formula One title race if he had got his way.

McLaren were last week fined 49.2m and thrown out of the constructors' championship after being found guilty of trying to take advantage of confidential Ferrari technical information that came into the possession of their chief designer Mike Coughlan.

Hamilton said: "I don't really have anything to say to or about Max Mosley. We've all worked hard this year.

"The way I feel is that the team has done nothing wrong - and neither have I. I have just taken the opportunities.

"I've done the best job I could with it. I don't see why people should say, if I win, it's a tainted championship."

Alonso said he felt the result in Spa "didn't change anything" in the championship.

"The difference between third and fourth is just one point," said the world champion.

"The championship is very open, as it was before.

"We need to be very careful also to finish all three races because if you have a DNF [retirement] in one of them you say bye-bye to the title."

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who won the race, is now only 13 points adrift of Hamilton, with a maximum of 30 still available.

He said: "We're still in the championship and we will keep pushing to see what we can do."

How Hamilton drove Alonso to the edge
16 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton fumes at Alonso tactics
16 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Raikkonen clinches Belgian GP win
16 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Alonso has confidence in McLaren
15 Sep 07 |  Formula One
As it happened: Belgian Grand Prix
16 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari dominate Spa qualifying
15 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Ferrari set the pace in Belgium
15 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Alonso win reduces Hamilton lead
09 Sep 07 |  Formula One


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