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Hamilton hoping to land knockout blow in gripping title race

Hamilton hoping to land knockout blow in gripping title race - News

Lewis Hamilton has vowed to deliver a Floyd Mayweather-inspired knockout blow to Ferrari's championship credentials after hauling himself back into the title race with victory in Canada.

Hamilton provided yet another masterclass in Montreal - his sixth win in just 10 appearances at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - to take 13 points out of Sebastian Vettel's championship lead.

The 32-year-old Englishman and his rival Vettel have now won three races apiece in a title battle which continues to swing from one direction to the other.

But Hamilton, who laid to rest the demons of his miserable display in Monaco by claiming yet another career hat-trick - that of pole position, a lights-to-flag victory and the fastest lap - while leading Valtteri Bottas home for Mercedes' first one-two finish of the campaign, believes his win here could prove to be pivotal in his quest for a fourth title.

"We learnt a lot from Monaco, and we have learnt a lot from this weekend, too," said Hamilton, who is now just 12 points shy of Vettel in the championship.

"If we apply the same diligence that we did in the past two weeks after every single race - even when we win - I am pretty sure we can continue to fight and not make the rollercoaster ride so up and down."

Hamilton is well aware that Ferrari could bounce back just as easily in the next race, but is hoping to emulate boxing superstar Mayweather and come out on top in the end.

Mayweather, considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, compiled a perfect record of 49 wins from 49 fights during his career.

Hamilton said: " "Ferrari have done a fantastic job all year and I just think this performance was Mercedes at its best. It was our first one-two finish of the year and in terms of ultimate points, it was the most powerful weekend we have had and maximised.

"If Ferrari do that to us, it is a blow, it is like a right hook, but the punches will continue throughout the year, and we just hope at the end of it we will be like Mayweather."

Vettel's recovery to fourth after suffering damage in a first-corner incident marked the first time that the German driver has failed to finish in the top two this season.

The four-time champion was last in the opening stages of Sunday's race after he was forced to change his front wing following contact with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at Turn One.

He appeared on course to finish only sixth, but passed the Force India duo of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez in the closing laps to move up two places and claim four additional points which could prove of high importance in this year's tight title battle.

"I knew where Sebastian was throughout the race," said Hamilton, who crossed the line a commanding 20 seconds clear of Bottas.

"I could see on the TV screen that he was seventh, sixth, fifth, and then I saw him in fourth, and I was like 'God damn it', it would have been better if he was in fifth. But I would rather look at the positives. I have done my job, and we as a team, have done the best we could do, too.

"Sebastian has had a one-two, one-two everywhere, so it is good that he now has had a fourth and we are still in the fight.

"Twelve points is definitely way better than 25. They may be super-quick at the next race in Baku, so to close the gap is going to take a lot, but anything can happen."

12 June 2017

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