Lewis Hamilton insists he is not entertaining the thought of unsuccessfully defending his drivers’ championship this season after losing the lead in the standings.
Sebastian Vettel’s victory in the Canadian Grand Prix was his third of the season and lifted the German one point ahead of Hamilton in the title race. While Hamilton has won two races himself, he had a difficult race in Montreal — which traditionally has been a strong circuit for Mercedes — and could only finish fifth behind teammate Valtteri Bottas and the two Red Bulls.
When asked if he has any concerns this year’s car might not be good enough to win the championship, Hamilton replied: “I don’t let that get into my mind, no.
“That will be the first sign of weakness and my mind is not weak. I am still here to win. I still believe that we can win. I’ve got the complete confidence in my guys and I am putting that energy towards them. The moment anybody in any sport, and I would imagine also in business but if you imagine like in tennis or golf or whatever, if you look across the net and you think damn it I might lose this, you’ve already lost.
“It doesn’t matter where I start on the grid, I don’t look at any driver and say ‘oh I might lose to that person’. I am like how can I beat them? How can I be better? I am going to keep doing that until I die.
“I think we’ve got potential in this car. Hopefully when you guys are writing stories, I think last year there was, oh Mercedes has the best car and all those different things and ultimately I think we did the better job… Probably shouldn’t be writing that right now because we are not always outperforming the others but also it’s very close.
“You’ve got the Red Bulls that every now and then are in the mix. Ferraris have so far been, I would say the most consistent but there’s a lot of races to come. These engines have to go a long way. There’s going to be things happening that we just don’t even know, what, when.
“That’s why I am just taking this one. I am really grateful for [Canada], while it’s ultimately not a great performance from us and we would want more points. We’d look back in ten races time and say that we actually had a fifth, it wasn’t an eighth, it wasn’t a DNF, I think I will be grateful for it.”