(BBC) Lewis Hamilton says he will not let the controversy over his tax affairs “distract” him as he heads into the final two races of this season.
Hamilton is one of the high-profile figures whose tax situation came under scrutiny in the ‘Paradise Papers’.
The Mercedes driver admitted in Sao Paulo yesterday that there was “a bit of a storm surrounding” him.
But he added: “It doesn’t distract me from my core values or what I am here to do – win the Brazilian Grand Prix.”
The 32-year-old Briton, who clinched his fourth world title at the last race in Mexico, is determined to win at Interlagos on Sunday and in Abu Dhabi on 26 November.
He said he had nothing specific to add to the statement – put out by his management company when the arrangements over his private jet came to light – which said his tax affairs were conducted by advisers and that he had been assured everything was “above board”.
He said: “Yes the championship is done. But I still have two races. It is important to win those two races to continue to solidify what I have worked on this year.
“If I was to sit back now and just relax and let someone else take the glory, sure it would be nice for other people but that is not what I am about.
“So this weekend I am still faced with the same challenges as the last races.
“Red Bull have really picked up the pace and will be pretty strong, Ferrari have picked up their performance, so it is going to be close.”
Hamilton’s fourth championship made him Britain’s most successful F1 driver, but he is still three behind Michael Schumacher
Hamilton has this year become F1’s all-time record-holder for pole positions and is second in the list of winners, with 62 to seven-time champion Michael Schumacher’s 91.
But he said he had not specifically set himself a clear goal of matching the legendary German’s achievements.
“I want to continue to raise the bar, pole positions, wins, I am still chasing Michael so I have a long way to go,” he said.
“It has never been my desire [to equal Schumacher]… my goal as a kid was always to do something like Ayrton [Senna, a three-time champion]. I had never imagined what would be beyond that.
“So to think I will have these four titles and I am still young and still have time ahead of me, the quest is to see exactly what I want.
“Naturally I always want to win. I have a burning desire to win these next two races, so inevitably I want to go for a fifth [title].
“I have never had a dream to chase Michael or other people’s titles, but it is one chapter closed and it is how I want to write the future, how I want to write this next chapter. I don’t know how many years I will continue.
“I love racing and I am enjoying it more than ever but there are many other things in life that you have to find a balance with and I want to begin to enjoy. But I am in no rush.”