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F1 NEWS 

Haug says last year won't affect Hamilton

Norbert HaugMercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes the memory of last year's season finale at Interlagos will not have an affect on Lewis Hamilton's mindset going into this weekend's championship decider in Brazil.

Hamilton took a seven-point lead to the last race of 2007 but lost the title to Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari when he had a gearbox problem during the race and could only finish seventh, while Raikkonen won.

But Haug says it was not Hamilton's fault that he lost the championship so he will not change his approach this year.

"This is much less dramatic than people say," Haug told Autosport. "Everyone says Lewis got it wrong last but that is not correct. The gearbox went wrong, he didn't get it wrong.

"His teammate was not nice to him, but he was fighting for the championship as well. The circumstances are completely different this year. You can't blame Lewis for last year, not for China either - we took him in too late there, he did nothing wrong."

Haug believes that Hamilton's performance in the Chinese Grand Prix two weeks ago showed how he responds to the pressure.

"Look at the result in China, that describes how he dealt with everything that was being said - and it was not the first time. People were bad to him before Silverstone and he answered on the track with a very convincing victory.

"What happens in the media is not correct at times, but that's just the name of the game. All the talking is just wasting energy. There's no time for political games, you have to be concentrated on your car and you have to be bloody on it!"

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