Hamilton aiming to extend run of top-two finishes in this weekend’s French GP, live only on Sky Sports F1
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 17/06/19 12:43pm
Lewis Hamilton believes he is operating in the same “sweet-spot” of form he hit mid-way through last year amid his best start to an F1 season.
Five wins and two second-place finishes mean Hamilton heads into this weekend’s French GP holding a 29-point championship lead, with his top-two finishing sequence stretching back to last November’s Brazilian GP.
Hamilton has won 13 of the last 18 grands prix and, now with 78 career wins, is fast-closing on Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 victories.
“Last year I hit that sweet point at some point during the season and started being really, really consistent and that just happens to have not really left,” said Hamilton.
“The races have been really strong, the same as last year, and I’ve not really dropped the ball in that sense, I’ve not dropped off.
“Last year qualifying at the end of the year was very strong.”
Hamilton believes his lifestyle choices, plus Mercedes’ ongoing excellence on and off the track, are paying dividends.
“It’s all to do with lifestyle, health, and all these kind of things,” added the five-time champion. “They are having a real impact on me.
“And, also, we’re doing a great job as a team. Whether or not we’re quickest on the weekend I’ve still got to do the job and deliver. I’m hoping that the rest of the year continues.”
Can Mercedes combat Ferrari’s power?
Mercedes were certainly not the quickest at the last race in Canada and Hamilton finished a close second on the road to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, yet inherited the win after the German’s contentious time penalty.
On paper, this weekend’s race at Paul Ricard – the scene of a comfortable Hamilton pole and win last year – should swing the advantage back in Mercedes’ favour, but the world champion says their rivals’ current advantage keeps them on their toes.
“You see how quick the Ferraris are. It will be interesting to see how it plays out,” warned Hamilton.
“They are quicker than us in the straights and they have another level of engine mode they can go to – particularly in qualifying, but also the race.
“So we have definitely got work to do, but we’ve got a good car.”
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