Hamilton undeterred by Mercedes slump

By Alan Baldwin, Reuters

Posted at Nov 02 2012 03:27 PM | Updated as of Nov 02 2012 11:27 PM

ABU DHABI - Mercedes have failed to score a point in the three races since Lewis Hamilton made his decision to join them next season but the McLaren driver says their slump has only made him more determined.

"It makes me even more driven to help them score points," the 2008 Formula One world champion told reporters ahead of Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I'm very happy with the decision I made. It doesn't impact on that. People do sometimes lose their way, even we have struggled in the past, and not scored points," added the 27-year-old Briton.

Hamilton, who has been at McLaren all his F1 career, will replace Michael Schumacher at Mercedes with the 43-year-old German retiring after a comeback lasting three years.

The former Ferrari great has not scored in his last four races while Nico Rosberg has not been in the top 10 since Singapore, the race before Hamilton was announced as his future team mate.

By coincidence, Hamilton's replacement at McLaren - Mexican Sergio Perez - has not scored either in his last three races for Sauber.

Hamilton has said repeatedly he does not expect to be winning straight away with Mercedes next year and is looking more to 2014, when new regulations and engine are introduced.

"I already knew how big it was going to be," he said of the task. "I really thought about it hard, and I could see how big it was.

"Perhaps it's growing, but as a task I'm really excited about it, excited to meet new people and to being in a different environment, and to mould myself into that environment."

Guns blazing

The McLaren driver remains mathematically in the 2012 title race by the slimmest of margins - 75 points adrift with a total of 75 still to be won.

To take the title he will have to win every race while Red Bull's championship leader and others fail to score another point.

Hamilton, who won in Abu Dhabi last year and has always qualified on the front row, said he would be racing with "all guns blazing" in any case.

The Briton will also have his cousins attending the race after the recent death of their mother, Hamilton's aunt on his father's side of the family.

"My cousin Dion, who is the man of the house, he's been to Brazil, but for the rest it will be their first time seeing the cars," he explained. "They've been to Silverstone, but not really in the garage, so I'll get them in the car, take pictures."

Hamilton also spoke movingly of his experience in India with the United Nations children's charity UNICEF after last Sunday's grand prix near New Delhi.

"There are ladies having babies on the streets, malnourished kids that are allowed to die. No-one comes to the rescue. These babies don't even have a fighting chance," he said, recognising his involvement had been 'miniscule' and would make the smallest of differences.

"But it all starts with one step. Growing up I've always wanted to be like... you know when you put a pebble in the pond and it creates ripples, well I'd like to start that chain reaction so others can follow," he added.

"There are loads of people doing great things in the world, and it's no skin off my nose to go and spend a couple of days doing what I did." (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien)