Sebastian Vettel will take a win-or-bust approach to this weekend’s title showdown at the United States Grand Prix, the German driver told reporters on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s race in which he will make a last-ditch bid to stop Lewis Hamilton beating him to a fifth title triumph, the German said he plans to be as “aggressive” as possible.

Fellow-four-time champion Hamilton of Mercedes will take the championship if he outscores Vettel of Ferrari by eight points.

“I think it’s simple for us,” said Vettel. “We’re quite some points behind so we have to focus on winning and then see what the others are doing.

“It’s quite straightforward for us, to be honest. I always try to win and I think you have to be aggressive to win, and of course you need to find the right balance.

“You never try to do something silly or not to finish, because that way you can’t win.”

I know what it takes, I know what to do, so in that regard it’s fairly similar, but for sure we know that we need to take a bit more risk because we are not in a position to manage the gap in the championship, because we don’t have a gap.”

Looking back on recent races in the championship, he said it was clear that Mercedes had been superior.

“It’s pretty obvious, you just have to look at the points,” he said. “For us, unfortunately, some of the races didn’t go our way at all and they were able to benefit from that, but they were very strong benefitting from that.

“It’s not just that we stepped aside and they were there — I think they had to do their job and they did it to get the points. Obviously it hurt us, but well played to them.”