The defending champion needs to overturn a 12-point deficit against Nico Rosberg in order to win the title, which requires his team-mate not to finish on the podium if Hamilton wins the race. Having topped the opening two practice sessions on Friday, Hamilton says he was not paying attention to Red Bull during the day but feels both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo need to be more competitive.
"Honestly I have no idea where they are as we’ve been just focusing on ourselves so I don’t know how close or how far away they are," Hamilton said. "I think we are comfortable where we are. They need to be faster that is all I know."
On his performance on Friday, Hamilton says he is pleased to be putting pressure on Rosberg, having lost out to his team-mate at the same circuit a year ago.
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"It is a good feeling and I have obviously come here to try to do that to be quickest and I know that I am quicker. It is about going out and actually doing it. I managed it in those sessions and it feels good. It doesn’t really matter if he is second, I guess he is more relaxed while I am fighting and chasing. I have no idea what is going to happen on Sunday but for tomorrow the sole focus is to get it on pole.

Nico Rosberg beim Training in Abu Dhabi

Image credit: Imago

All I’ve got to do is solely focus on getting that pole position and right now I don’t need to think about the race. After that it will then be thinking about the start and the other things but really positioning is what I want for this weekend. I have had some great races recently and last year I wasn’t pushing as hard as it didn’t matter hence why Nico won those past few races but I will pushing this weekend and hope to get the win."
Hamilton added he is motivated to perform for his former McLaren colleague Aki Hintsa, with the former doctor having passed away last week.
"I also want to do my best for Aki, I hope that he is watching and I can make him proud."
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