Lewis Hamilton believes his performances so far this season have been “quite average” despite winning four of the first six races.
Valtteri Bottas took victory in Australia and again in Azerbaijan, with Hamilton second to his team-mate on both occasions to ensure he currently has a 17-point advantage in the drivers’ championship. However, Bottas has three pole positions to Hamilton’s two, and the defending champion doesn’t believe he has delivered his best form yet.
“I definitely feel that it’s been quite an average performance from myself; maybe above average but generally quite average for the first six races,” Hamilton said. “I feel like I’ve got the best I could get. I’ve arrived prepared — the best prepared I could be — but in terms of extracting the true performance from the car, I feel like I’ve struggled a little bit in these six races.
“I guess that’s kind of similar to other seasons but without doubt it’s going to improve as the knowledge you gain over the season race by race, particularly with the tires this year, where the window is even smaller and maximizing… I do anticipate things will get better as it will be for all of us.
“I hope, at some stage, that I’m able to crack the issues that I’ve had and get back to the form that I have within me. Whether that’s the next race or 10 races from now, I can’t really say but I am very, very focused on making sure I rectify any of those.”
Despite his critical self-review, Hamilton reflects on his win in Monaco on Sunday — under pressure from Max Verstappen — as one of his more difficult races.
“How many races have I done? 250 or whatever it is, I don’t remember every single one of them. I’m sure if I was to watch back whatever race it is, I think I can reminisce but often the wet races have been some of the trickiest to overcome.
“But out of the 200+ there’s obviously going to be a good five to 10 solid races that are up there. I do believe (Monaco) has to be in the top five of the hardest races. I’ve got a poor memory but I think it’s the hardest race I’ve ever had.
“I still can’t believe that I managed to finish where I finished, if I’m honest. I don’t know how I did it. There were just so many opportunities to make mistakes, so many opportunities to give up, so many opportunities to make an excuse.”