Hamilton welcomes Russian challenge

Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton is relishing the “challenge” of trying to maintain his lead in the World Drivers’ Championship standings with a first-ever outing in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix (4/6 Race Winner).

Mercedes’ British driver is aiming to secure his second world title, having previously won in 2008 with former team McLaren, this year and he takes a ten-point lead over German team-mate Nico Rosberg to Sochi this weekend.

Hamilton edged out Rosberg to win in Japan last Sunday in a race that was overshadowed by the serious crash suffered by Marussia’s French driver Jules Bianchi which has left him in hospital with a serious head injury.

The 29-year-old insisted that his thoughts and prayers are with Bianchi and his family as the action moves to Russia for the first time on the Formula One schedule.

However Hamilton is now focused on the race at Sochi as he looks to get to grips with a new circuit and ensure he maintains his lead in the Drivers’ Championship (Hamilton 4/11 Outright Winner) with only three races remaining after Sunday.

Hamilton said: “I like a challenge and a new circuit always provides that. Of course, we’ve run through plenty of laps on the simulator – but you never really know what it will be like until you get out there and feel your way into the track.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s really like and how our car performs there.

“It felt great in the race in Japan and I’m sure it will be strong again in Sochi, so I’m hoping to keep up this run of results that we’ve built in the last few races.”

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