Abu Dhabi: World championship leader Lewis Hamilton on Saturday rejected Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg`s jibe that he may crack under pressure in Sunday`s decisive season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Rosberg, who snatched pole from Hamilton in the final seconds of Saturday`s tense qualifying session, said afterwards that Hamilton`s recent spin in Brazil and failure to take pole at the Yas Marina circuit showed he had reason to hope for another slip-up.
But Hamilton, who leads the title race by 17 points ahead of the `double jeopardy` showdown, responded with a typically pithy and vigorous answer.
"I don`t really pay much attention to him," he said.
"Today, I think in mistakes I made the same amount as him. He actually had to do an extra lap on the actual race tyre, which hopefully will have an effect tomorrow.
"There have been very, very few mistakes during the year so I am not worried. Of course Nico is trying everything possible in his head to come up with some kind of way of dealing with things -- that is how he deals with it.
"Me? I just keep it to myself and do my talking on the track. Today, he did a great job in Q3, but I will make up for it in tomorrow`s race."
Rosberg explained why he felt he should have faith in believing he can win and that Hamilton will face problems in a race where double points are to be awarded for the first time.
"Lewis has everything to lose," he said. "I have everything to gain. So, for sure, the pressure is on him. That`s my opportunity, to keep the pressure on him as much as possible and maybe he will make the mistake, which we saw today for example, and in Brazil also.
"In Brazil, I tried to keep the level as high as possible and push him into that mistake. If there is a Williams a bit closer it could be enough. Who knows?"
As the championship challengers continued to trade verbal blows on Saturday evening, Hamilton -- who has known and raced against Rosberg since they were teenage team-mates in the karting world championships -- added that he would race as naturally and instinctively as possible.
"I think it is very difficult to go into it (the race) with a plan," he said.
"Every race, my goal is to win -- it always is every race weekend. Naturally, you are always trying to drive towards the limit.
"You don`t want to go over and above the limit and, depending on the situation, you choose how close to the limit you want to be.
"In the last race, I stepped over the limit. I won`t be doing that tomorrow, but I can still win by not going to that. As the race unfolds, I will take decisions along the way.
"I know from experience (that) I will be better prepared than I ever have been."