Hamilton: I had to change my natural driving style


For most Formula 1 fans, Lewis Hamilton’s 75th Formula 1 victory at the sport’s 1000th race looked like a breeze, but not so according to the five-time World Champion who even had to change his driving style to tame his all-conquering Mercedes.

And while the Silver Arrows have scored a one-two in the first three races, Hamilton does not believe they are the dominant team at the moment.

Speaking after winning the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, Hamilton said, “Through the weekend, the car’s really not liked how I drive at this track. I was always really quick here and my aggressive driving style worked really well, and then I used that in the last two years and the tyres would not allow it and the car would not allow it and I seemed to have lost a lot of performance.”

“I really had to be quite dynamic to change my natural driving style, shift it to a different way. I only really got there at the end of qualifying, and then in the race, it was a little bit back to what my normal driving style would be, so once I got into the lead I was able to maintain position and do what I do.”

Despite the fact that Mercedes leave Ferrari in their dust in both qualifying and during the races, Hamilton remains wary, “I don’t feel like we’re the dominant team. But I think our overall process has been more solid, the platform, pitstops, performance in qualifying, just very, very much operating at the super-high, 90 percentile.

“So I’m really grateful. The team has done an incredible job. I had no idea that we’d have three one-twos so early on in the season.”

“On top of that, Valtteri’s really stepped up this year, he’s really punching, delivering. Last year, he was on the podium in second here and I didn’t back him up as a teammate, being as quick as I should have been.”

“It takes both of us and the whole team to be operating on all six cylinders, and at the moment we are,” explained Hamilton who leads the championship after three rounds.