SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Lewis Hamilton insists he will continue to race flat-out at the final two races of the Formula One championship, despite clinching the title in Mexico two weeks ago.
A ninth-place finish was enough to see Hamilton crowned champion in Mexico City after a first lap collision with title rival Sebastian Vettel forced him to fight back through the field. The last time Hamilton won the title with races remaining in 2015 he failed to win another race all season, but he insists that will not be the case this year.
"I think two years ago the focus was not the same at the end of the season," he said. "I generally don't like to look back and regret, so it is what it is, but I don't want to be in that position again so I am planning to keep the pressure exactly as it's been.
"I think Red Bull has really stepped up their game, with Max [Verstappen] winning the last race, and for Ferrari this is a track that really suits them and it might not be our circuit as much as the last one.
"I've still got the two races to win and I guess the reason for me is that it's not really sunk in because I've tried to stay in the zone. I'm still in the same mental frame of mind with two races to go and it feels abnormal to back off now. It seems like a better time than ever to apply even more pressure just because I can. There are two more wins available."
After a week celebrating his title victory with family and friends on holiday, Hamilton was the focus of a media investigation into his tax arrangements on Monday. A statement released by his representatives the same day said "everything is above board" and that matter is "in the hands of his lawyers", and on Thursday Hamilton said he had nothing to add to the story.
"My focus has really been on a good 10 days with my friends and family. We planned this holiday together with all my family, about 30 of us, and I could not have planned it better. I didn't plan it months ago thinking I would have won the championship by then, so I've come back with a huge amount of positivity from that week.
"I've of course heard about everything and my team released a statement and I don't have anything else to add to that."