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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Brazil and Abu Dhabi give Lewis Hamilton chance to end the one anomaly of his F1 career

The five-time world champion has yet to win a race in a season where he has already wrapped up with the title

Lewis Hamilton has never won a grand prix in a season where he has already been crowned world champion. He look to change that statistic in Brazil or Abu Dhabi. Getty
Lewis Hamilton has never won a grand prix in a season where he has already been crowned world champion. He look to change that statistic in Brazil or Abu Dhabi. Getty

Lewis Hamilton has done pretty much everything there is to do in Formula One.

Five world titles, 71 race wins, 81 pole positions and 132 podiums to his name has already guaranteed he will go down as one of the greats of the sport when he hangs up his racing gloves sometime in the future.

But, if there is one Achilles heel for the Mercedes-GP driver it is the view that he eases off once he has a championship in the bag.

Hamilton has never won a grand prix, or for that matter taken a pole, after he has wrapped up a championship in a season with races to spare.

It is a problem virtually every other driver on the grid would love to have, but the simple statistics are that Hamilton is zero for five on races he has competed in when he has already been crowned champion.

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Read more

Brazilian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton deserves the plaudits but Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel are back on the pace

Formula One 2018 lowdown: What is still to be decided in Brazil and Abu Dhabi?

Comment: Lewis Hamilton enjoys his best ever season and his dominance is set to continue

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Everything you need to know about tickets and the race weekend

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Hamilton already has the 2018 title wrapped up and has two chances with Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, and the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 25, to end the one anomaly of his career.

Other past recent world champions in the same position have proven more successful when the pressure is off.

Sebastian Vettel (5/7), Fernando Alonso (1/2), Michael Schumacher (11/21), and Ayrton Senna (1/3) have all won after becoming champion.

Hamilton, himself, has admitted raising himself to 100 per cent after winning a world title is "not so easy".

When asked about his one apparent weakness by The National after finishing second Abu Dhabi in 2017, the Briton said: "I think this year I’ve tried my hardest to stay more on it but I was doing other things, yeah, celebrating a lot so… I think I still drove relatively well but yeah, I wouldn’t say it was a hundred per cent like it was whilst in the season.

"What can I say? When you’ve won you win, doesn’t matter with two races to go at the end, you’ve got to enjoy it so I do and try and still turn up and do the job. It’s just not so easy."

Here is a look at how Hamilton has fared in the races where he has competed with the world championship already won.

Mexico 2015

Hamilton was beaten to pole by Nico Rosberg and was powerless to do anything about his German teammate at Mercedes. He was never further then five seconds adrift but followed him to the finish.

Brazil 2015

Hamilton demonstrated a strong competitive fight in this race. He begged his team to alter his strategy to allow him to race Rosberg, but Mercedes refused. Hamilton was unable to overtake Rosberg on track and had to settle for second.

Abu Dhabi 2015

Rosberg again led from pole but Mercedes did allow Hamilton to go different on tyre strategy with a longer middle stint. But it did not work as he was left too big a gap to close down and he again had to settle for second behind his teammate.

Brazil 2017

Hamilton had left himself an impossible task after he had crashed in qualifying, which forced him to start at the back of the grid. He drove a cracking race to finish fourth, only 5.4 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel, and was left to reflect on what he could have done if he had started at the front.

Abu Dhabi 2017

Beaten to pole by teammate Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton cruised around behind the Finn for all 55 laps at Yas Marina Circuit, complaining he did not have a sufficient speed advantage to make an overtaking move.

So will Brazil or Abu Dhabi in 2018 end the winless streak? Or will it become zero for seven by the time the chequered flag falls in Abu Dhabi.