Hamilton: The edge I have is in my ability

Lewis Hamilton confident ahead of his home race

Lewis Hamilton confident ahead of his home race

Launching a war of words ahead of his home grand prix at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton has stepped up the off-track battle, declaring that he has “the edge” over teammate Nico Rosberg on sheer “ability”.

This is the latest punch thrown in the psychological war between the Mercedes drivers, as Hamilton faces the task of closing down Rosberg’s 29-point championship lead over the remaining eleven grands prix, with his home race a crucial starting point.

According to the Daily Star newspaper, Hamilton suggested that much of his points deficit is due simply to his two technical retirements in 2014. He doubts that Rosberg will strike the same trouble.

“That would mean in the next 11 races Nico would need to have two [failures] where he does not finish, and I do not think that is going to happen,” said the 2008 world champion.

Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg in Bahrain

“I cannot rely on that, I just have to focus on doing better than him, which I am capable of. The edge I have is in my ability. That is the gift I have and I have to utilise it this year more than ever,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton is expounding a common theory in the Formula 1 paddock – that he has the slight edge on Rosberg in terms of sheer pace. But another equally-common tale is that Rosberg often makes up for any deficit with a more calculating approach.

“Nico Rosberg is fast when he needs to be fast,” agreed quadruple world champion Alain Prost, whose style of winning his four world championships earned him the nickname: The Professor.

“Above all he is very clever,” Prost told Auto Bild Motorsport. “Even when he had problems with the car in Canada, he kept his cool and brought the car home. That’s the difference. It may be that Lewis Hamilton is just a bit faster, but Nico has the better overall package.”

Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 British GP

Lewis Hamilton won the 2008 British GP

Also well-placed to comment is Felipe Massa, who went head-to-head with Hamilton in 2008, and came tantalisingly close to depriving the Briton of his sole title.

“Lewis was a driver that maybe lost under the pressure when he was fighting for the championship in 2007 and 2008, but maybe he has a little bit more experience now,” the Brazilian told the Daily Mail. “I don’t know if that will help or not, but for sure he has more pressure now than Nico.”

Hamilton has only won the British Grand Prix once, in 2008 his championship year, but this weekend arrives at the  former WWII airfield favourite to add to his tally of 26 Formula 1 victories. (GMM)