F1 points leader Lewis Hamilton explains his recent run of success by his ability to take in his stride all the issues that hampered the Mercedes driver’s start of his title defence.
Hamilton saw team-mate Nico Rosberg win the opening four races of the 2016 campaign, while he suffered a series of problems ranging from power unit woes to poor starts and on-track collisions.
The reigning world champion’s troubles reached their nadir in Barcelona when he collided with his title rival on the first lap, with both Mercedes retiring on the spot.
After staring at a 43-point gap deficit, Hamilton explains how he has managed to erase this deficit to take the championship ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix.
“Spain definitely ended up being a turning point, which did not feel that it was at the time,” the 31-year-old said. “It was rock bottom basically. It was ‘where do you go from here?’ and the only way was up.
“I just managed to get my head together, managed to get my sh**t together and get on with it, even though I have less engines, my mechanics have been changed, all these different things, which just did not seem to be working with me. It was ‘just deal with it’. Since then, we’ve pulled together.”
Hamilton is aware he will have to serve a power unit penalty at some point during the year. The triple world champion, who has won five of the last six races, aims for damage limitation when that happens.
“Whichever race it is where I have to take my penalty and start from the pit lane and in last place, I hope that this is minimum damage, that it does not mean I am 25 points behind. I don’t want to go back to that.
“That’s the goal and I think we’re in the strongest position we’ve been all year in terms of how our performance and how unified we are.”
Technical analysis – Budapest
DRIVER RATINGS: Hungarian Grand Prix
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