Lewis Hamilton said he will will be giving it his all in the upcoming races to defend his Formula One world championship title after finishing third in the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver, who started the race from the front row, had a poor start and slipped several places before outpacing four drivers in a single lap to make a strong comeback. Meanwhile, his teammate Nico Rosberg was untroubled from pole till the end as he finished on the top step of the podium.
Hamilton and Rosberg, after sharing 15 titles between them in the ongoing season, clinched Mercedes its third consecutive constructors' championship on Sunday with Ferrari and Red Bull, who are way behind the leaders in the standings, still fighting for the second spot.
With his maiden win at the Suzuka, Rosberg (313 points) has extended his title lead over his Mercedes teammate by 33 points. Hamilton though believes he will be able to give his best in the remaining four races of the season and hope for the best results.
After enduring a horrible exit at the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix due to engine fire, the defending world champion showed grit and determination to finish on the podium on Sunday. He came close to overtake Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who raced to his second consecutive second-place finish, in the final few laps at Suzuka.
The Brit, who fumed at Mercedes after the Malaysia mishap, also congratulated his team for their success this season before explaining why he had another poor start on Sunday.
"That [33 points] is a healthy margin for Nico, he did a great job, so congrats to him. I'll give it everything I've got, as I did in the race and we'll see what happens," Hamilton was quoted as saying by the Formula One's official website.
"Big congratulations to the team, incredible success for the last three years, very proud to be a part of it and to help contribute to it – so a big thank you to everyone for all of their hard work. This is a great result.
"I don't think the damp patch had really anything to do with it [the start]. I made a mistake and then just working my way up from there was tricky but, you know, I did the best I could."
Rosberg once again stressed he is not looking too much into the numbers and that he would go about doing his best in the upcoming races. The F1 action shifts to United States on 23 October before the season comes to a close with races in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
"Points, yeah, I'm well aware of the 33 points of course but it's not something I'm focussed on, as you know. Just want to take it race by race. That's what I did this weekend. So focussed on trying to win the race and very happy it worked out. Still many races to go, so just keeping my head down," the championship leader said.
Apart from the Mercedes domination, it was Verstappen who shouldered the Red Bull challenge as Malaysia winner Daniel Ricciardo slipped to sixth at the Suzuka. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished four-five to keep Ferrari's challenge in the ongoing season alive.