Hamilton: Merc haven’t ‘lucked’ into title lead

Date published: September 17 2018

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes haven't 'lucked' into title lead

Lewis Hamilton hasn’t “lucked” into the lead in the championship, rather he’s benefitted from avoiding mistakes, something Sebastian Vettel hasn’t managed to do.

Hamilton extended his lead to 40 points in the Drivers’ standings on Sunday as he claimed the Singapore Grand Prix win, his fourth in five races.

While the Mercedes driver has found a rich vein of form, the same cannot be said of Vettel.

He crashed out of the lead in Germany, collided Hamilton on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix and hit the wall in Friday’s practice for the Singapore GP costing him valuable track time.

Hamilton is proud to say he’s avoided similar incidents.

“I don’t look at it and think ‘we’ve lucked in’,” explained the Mercedes driver.

“When Vettel hit the wall the other day, damaged the car and lost running on the track, that’s not us lucking in.

“I take a lot of pride in not putting myself in those positions.

“I know my team is relying on me just as his team is relying on him. There’s a lot of pressure on us drivers.

“It’s only small percentages that you get wrong and they have bigger ramifications.

“As a team we honestly don’t waste any time wondering what they’re doing, or if they’re feeling pressure, or if they’re feeling happy or unhappy.

“There’s nothing we can do about them, all we can do is be the best we can over a weekend.”

The Brit added that he believes Mercedes are “over-delivering” as they push to get the most out of their W09.

“We haven’t brought any upgrades,” he said. “We brought an upgrade to Monza, we didn’t bring an upgrade here.

“But naturally we’re always working on our understanding on a technical side to try and improve.

“For example ride height, a few little things we’re just tweaking and trying to maximise from my understanding of the races.

“I think ultimately we are over-delivering. Our car’s true pace is 100 and we’re pulling out 102. That’s an awesome, feeling.”

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