Hamilton hoping for incident-free finish

Lewis Hamilton is determined to remove himself from the thoughts of the stewards as he bids for a clean end to a troubling season.

Motorsport News: Lewis Hamilton

Five drive-through penalties is only half the story this year when it comes to the tale of woe Hamilton has endured as the 26-year-old has also been forced to explain himself on numerous occasions.

Then there was the letter of apology he was forced to write to FIA president Jean Todt following his "maybe it's 'cos I'm black" jibe as to why he was being punished so much by the stewards in the wake of two penalties in Monaco.

Another followed in the race in Singapore when he punctured a tyre on Felipe Massa's Ferrari by running into him, sparking a post race bust-up between the two that has so far not been resolved.

Instead, the situation was exacerbated by another coming together in Japan on Sunday, and although the stewards investigated, mercifully for Hamilton he avoided any sanction.

The McLaren star, however, appreciates in his bid to start turning a corner he has to avoid visits to the stewards' room.

"I've always over-driven since I was a young kid, it's something I do," said Hamilton.

"You can always slightly alter things to improve, and I am trying to do that, and it's about being in the right place at the right time too.

"I've been in some awkward positions and got plenty of penalties lately, so I need to try and avoid that.

"I was very close to having one in the last race, so it would be good to have a string of races where I'm not in any of the stewards' minds."

These are dark days for Hamilton who has failed to make the podium in his last five races, in stark contrast to team-mate Jenson Button who has won twice, been second twice and third once.

Hamilton has been outscored 101 points to 44 during that run, and now finds himself trailing Button by 32 points in the battle for second place.

It has led to the Briton becoming very self-analytical and self-critical, adding: "I do take the races personally.

"Racing has been part of my life since I was very, very young, and I'm my own biggest critic.

"I'm very hard on myself, very passionate about what I do, and I have huge belief in my abilities. But when you are not performing you take it personally because there is no-one else to take the blame, no-one else to feel the pain. It is all within you.

"I perhaps feel it more than other people, and the last five races have been very disappointing. It's the longest period of poor races I've had, and it's been tough.

"How long it's going to take me to get through this I've no idea, but I will keep pushing."

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