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Hamilton plans tribute to Senna

October 11, 2007 09:50 IST

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton intends to visit the grave of his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna once Formula One's three-way title battle has been played out in Brazil.

If all goes to plan at Interlagos on Sunday week, the 22-year-old rookie sensation will make the poignant trip to Sao Paulo's Morumbi cemetery as one McLaren champion paying his respects to another.

"That's definitely something I'd like to do. I'll find it emotional and moving to go there," the Briton told reporters on Wednesday.

"I will think about visiting after the race," he added. "It's important I have a clear mind going into the race weekend and that would be too emotional to do before the race."

Hamilton leads Spain's double world champion and team mate Fernando Alonso by four points going into the season's finale, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen a further three behind.

After skidding out of last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix just when it seemed he was destined to become Formula One's first rookie champion as well as the youngest, Hamilton said he has regained his focus and is relaxed.

"I've got a lot of confidence in myself," he said. "It's got to be a hard hit knowing the world championship was there and I didn't take it but its still there to win.

"I'm still in the lead and I've still got a good chance of winning so I'm feeling pretty cool as I'm in the best position to do that," he added.

"I'm mentally stronger after the weekend in China. Some drivers would be on the back foot but I've taken the negatives and made them into positives. I've had a very good season."

McLaren have assured both drivers that they can still count on equal treatment, even if there can be little doubt that the Mercedes-powered team would rather Hamilton won the title than the estranged Spaniard.

Hamilton said he might temper his natural desire to win the race, however, in order to be sure of the bigger prize.

"Some part of my mind will be focused on the end result, i.e. winning the world championship and not the race but I go to win," he said.

"However, I understand the position I'm in and what I have to do. I aim on finishing on the podium and know I can't take risks. Maybe I took a risk at the last race."

The youngster also had a message for anxious fans, eager to celebrate Britain's first Formula One champion since Damon Hill in 1996 yet fearful of reliving the China nightmare.

"I have to apologise for keeping them in suspense," he said. "But I'm pretty sure they'll be happy.

"I've never said I'm going to win but as long as I work hard enough I will do well. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and anything can happen. I'm 22 so I'm going to be here for a while."

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