''This weekend has been quite an emotional trip''
After taking pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton knows he can almost reach out and grab the drivers' championship.
Hamilton leads his nearest rival Fernando Alonso
by 12 points and if he can finish
in front of the Spaniard on Sunday the title will be won.
"I was absolutely thrilled to get pole position," he said. "I am going to try to win the race. When I play golf and I am in the bushes I don't play safe, I go for the green. It will be similar tomorrow but I will also be sensible as it is important to finish the race.
"It has been a phenomenal season. I came into it hoping to do a good job but it has been a mind-blowing season for everyone given what has gone on."
Hamilton was only cleared to race on Friday evening after complaints about his driving behind the safety car in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.
It was the latest controversy of an amazing season during which Hamilton has also had to shrug off the distractions of the 'spygate' scandal and a turbulent relationship with team-mate Alonso. His visit to Asia has already been something of an emotional rollercoaster, making Saturday's performance especially sweet.
"This weekend has been quite an emotional trip," he accepted. "I got here early and found they [race stewards] were going to investigate the way I was driving behind the safety car in Fuji.
"As soon as I heard that they wanted to see me I thought the worst.
They called me up and I accepted the fact I would most probably get a penalty.
"I gave them my words and the outcome for me was the best decision and I believe it was right. I was quite relieved last night to be able to get rid of that heavy bag. There is already a huge weight on my shoulder as I have been leading the world championship."
There is a good chance of rain during the race, raising the possibility that Hamilton could win the championship through a torrential downpour halting proceedings. Typically though, Hamilton would rather win the title on the track.
"I don't really hope it will rain," he said. "I would hope it is a dry race. I wouldn't say that is easier, but it is different. I am not bothered either way though, as last week the car was really good in the wet.
"I don't want a storm to stop the race. I am not going into tomorrow thinking about the championship. I would hate to do all this preparation and then the race is stopped. I love to have the battle and the challenge.
"Everybody will be in the same boat if it rains. I think we are in a good position. Pole position could not be better."