Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton believes he doesn’t have to do anything different to what he has been doing in the 2018 Formula 1 season as the pressure is on Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
A consistent run of events has allowed Hamilton to build on a 30 points lead over Vettel with seven races remaining in the 2018 F1 season. The German blew a couple of chances so far which would have put him ahead of the British driver.
Ferrari has now got the armor it needed to challenge Mercedes but still finds itself in a spot of bother. For Hamilton, it is a simple job heading into the crucial phase of flyaway races where Ferrari generally has an upperhand.
The points buffer hasn’t really affected his approach as he goes into the weekends with the same attitude. “Honestly, I never even have expectations every time I come to a race, I must just tell you that,” he said to media ahead of the Singapore race.
“I guess ultimately our expectation is for us to give it our all and try to perform as well, if not better, than in the past races. Collectively, as a team, we have done a tremendous job in the past races and we want to try and keep that quality of performance.
“It [the points lead] might be subconscious but I’ve not really thought about it. I don’t change the way, at the moment there’s no reason to change. There are a lot of points still available so the approach is exactly the same as it has been all year long.
“It seems to be working, so we’ll just keep that up for as long as we can. But we do expect there are going to be some difficult races ahead. Obviously Ferrari have been ahead of us for the past few races, so keeping up with them, if not passing them, is going to be tough.”
While Hamilton and Mercedes can rejoice their fightback, Vettel and Ferrari will have to keep their composure intact to regain the lost momentum. It won’t be easy as Vettel will need at least one DNF for Hamilton to get back in the game.
The German admitted that it won’t be Hamilton or Ferrari to be blamed if he loses out in the end – it will be he himself predominantly. “I think it is pretty straightforward for me. I think the biggest enemy is me,” he said.
“We have a great car, I have something to play with and we have all the chances to do it in our way. Obviously Lewis is the leader at the moment, he’s the one ahead and he is the one to beat.
“But I think we have all the chances – and how much they could be better by now and so on is a different question. We still have a very good chance, and as I said, we will be our first enemy and not him as a person or them as a team.
“I think we need to look after ourselves. If we do that we have a good chance to do well and win races and things look good. I think it is normal that you do a lot of races and some you feel you could have done better or should have done better for different reasons.
“I think there were also other races where we shouldn’t have done so well and we did. But for sure the worst one was Germany. I think most important is that I know what happened and I can explain it and then everyone is free to have their own views on what happened.
“I would have loved to win in Germany, for sure, but I’m not too bothered and I’m generally looking forward and not focusing on what we all could have done differently to avoid what happened,” he explained.