Lewis Hamilton says he “could only have dreamed” he would have nearly a race victory’s advantage in the drivers’ championship heading into the mid-season break.
Despite winning the last four drivers’ and constructors’ championships in a row, Hamilton and Mercedes have come under serious pressure from Ferrari this season, in part due to the Scuderia making clear progress with its power unit. With Mercedes failing to capitalize on circuits that have perviously suited its car in Canada, Austria and Silverstone, Sebastian Vettel held an eight-point championship lead before Hamilton surged ahead with back-to-back wins in Germany and Hungary.
“I really could only have dreamed that we would be in the position that we are in right now,” Hamilton said. “Considering all factors and based on our pure performance, where we stand compared to the Ferraris, I’m really happy, particularly with back-to-back wins.
“I think that boost will last a long time for our team, and it’s encouraging for everyone. The second half [of the season] is always exciting, it’s always intense, particularly when we go to the long, long hauls. Second half is usually… it gets a bit better on our side, so we will go and prepare and make sure we come back even stronger.”
Despite enjoying a significant lead at this stage, Hamilton says he will be using the three-week gap before the Belgian Grand Prix to return in even better shape for the second part of the season.
“I’m not really the lay-down-on-the-beach type,” he said. “I’ll be doing activities, training and getting ready for the second half, but I’m really happy with how strong it’s come the last couple of races. I’m so grateful for all the hard work and the continued efforts of the team, so they all deserve the break and I hope they keep pushing, we’ve got to come strong in the next half.”