Lewis Hamilton claims he will not take any ‘silly risks’ as he seeks to clinch his fourth world title.

The Briton extended his championship lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to 59 points after the German suffered a spark plug problem which meant he was forced to retire from the Japanese Grand Prix, his second DNF in three races.

At the next race in Austin, Hamilton can mathematically wrap up the 2017 title should he win and Vettel not finish in the top five. However, the 32-year-old is not willing to do anything silly to ensure he can win the world championship at the earliest opportunity.

Hamilton told Crash.net: “I feel like I have a perfect balance on race weekends, I guess my experience allows me to know when I have to push and when I have to hold back a little bit, and as you saw in Malaysia that’s what I do.

“I arrive at every race to win and I absolutely am not going to take silly risks. I’m sure you know I’m not one to take silly risks because I’m not often penalised for doing such things. I think it’s going to be fine.”

Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport

While Hamilton is no longer prepared to take the big risks, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff remains keen for his team to keep focused and not change its approach as they attempt to secure a fourth constructors’ title in a row and get on top of the W08’s inconsistencies.

“One look at the points standings might give us some brief comfort but there are still four races to go, 100 points to win in the drivers’ title and, if the past weeks have shown us anything at all, it’s that anything can happen in motorsport.

“We take no prisoners in how we claim our points – but we are all conscious that we have benefited from our rivals’ misfortune and reliability woes in recent weeks. So nothing changes in our approach.

“We must take the next races one at a time, push to better understand the car and keep our humble attitude. That is the approach that has worked for us so far and the way we will continue until the final race in Abu Dhabi.”

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