Lewis Hamilton 'proud' before title decider with Nico Rosberg at Abu Dhabi GP

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had their own news conference, separate from the other drivers, on Thursday at Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the BBC
Dates: 25-27 November Venue: Yas Marina Circuit
Coverage: Live radio commentary of practice, qualifying and the race on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio 5 live (final practice on BBC Sport website and app only), plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app

Lewis Hamilton says he will be "proud" of his performance in 2016 regardless of whether he wins the world title in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton is 12 points behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who will win the title if he finishes in the top three even if the Briton wins the race.

"It has been a challenging season in terms of ups and downs," Hamilton said.

"But I've managed to strengthen in terms of turning the negatives into positives."

Hamilton suffered an engine failure while leading in Malaysia at the end of September which created a 28-point swing in favour of Rosberg.

A win for Rosberg in Japan the following weekend left Hamilton 33 points adrift with only five races to go.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton also had engine failures in qualifying in early season races in China and Russia which meant he had to recover from positions down the grid.

Added to the victories Rosberg took after Hamilton made bad starts in the first two races in Australia and Bahrain, that gave the German a 43-point lead after the first four races.

Hamilton said: "I am really proud of what I've achieved.

"I was 43 points behind. I thought it was impossible to come back from that, and I have been 33 points behind and nearly turned that around.

"It has shown everything is possible and I will keep facing the races coming with that mentality."

By contrast, Rosberg has not had a single mechanical retirement.

Asked how he would feel if he was perceived to have won the title because of a skewed reliability record between the two, Rosberg said: "I'm aware of how the season has gone. But the season isn't even finished yet. So it would premature.

"But anyways those thoughts - I don't have them at the moment in any way because it's all about concentrating on myself this weekend.

"I am excited to be going into the race fighting for the championship. I am really focused on trying to get the season finished with a win."

Hamilton has made six bad starts this season, while Rosberg has made only three.

Hamilton said: "It his important to remember the negative races because they make you remember the wins.

Graph shows finishing positions of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton during the season so far. For full list of results, go to the results tab on the Formula 1 index
Hamilton vs Rosberg: what has happened to whom, up to Brazil

"Japan, getting off the line terribly. I have had several like that but have always come back with a fighting spirit and that is something to be proud of - that I have given it everything."

Hamilton said his prime focus heading into the weekend at Yas Marina was to take pole position and that he had given no thought to how he would approach the race. However, he said he would not try to 'back up' Rosberg to bring rivals such as Red Bull into play.

"Nico has been pole the last two years here," Hamilton said. "He has been very quick. It has been a strong circuit for me generally but the last two years I have not delivered. So my sole goal is to be on pole.

"In terms of tactics, that is for Sunday but that has generally not been my thought process. When I am in the lead I want to be as far ahead as possible and that is more of an achievement than backing up your team-mate. Plus, practically, it's not a sensible thing to do. It would not be very easy or wise to do so. So, no."

Rosberg said he would not deploy any underhand tactics, such as taking Hamilton out, to secure the title.

"It will be a weekend like any other and I will go for the race win and will do what it takes to achieve that," he said. "Within the limits of what's acceptable, of course."

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton had his phone out again during the news conference, having been criticised for doing so before the Japanese Grand Prix

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