Lewis Hamilton has said he is feeling 100 per cent happier this season and that he is now back to his 'old self'.
Although he has only won once this year, with that great drive in Canada, and has of course slipped back in the championship after disappointing results in the last two races at Valencia and Silverstone, he remains convinced that he can still do it.
Indeed ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix, the McLaren driver has reiterated that he believes it is more than possible to make up the 37 point difference to Fernando Alonso, who is currently top in the drivers' standings.
“It's not like last year with Sebastian Vettel [dominating]. We're still in the hunt. Of course, there are races that could, possibly should have been better but that's racing,” he told sport360.com
. “This is a fantastic team with a history of winning in F1 and things can change quickly. I don't feel like I've had my lucky spell yet this season. I think that's still to come.
“I'm satisfied with the way I'm performing. I feel I'm getting the best out of my races. That's what I live to strive for.
“I'm as strong as I've ever been this season, stronger than my first year and when I was world champion.”
Hamilton meanwhile conceded that 2011 was a 'disaster'. However he feels he is stronger for it: “I'm more myself and more measured and controlled this year,” he continued. “It's frustrating when you don't get the outcome you wanted because of something silly, but it is what it is, it's done and you move on.
“Every year you grow and learn more, and I definitely have more knowledge about life and about racing [now].
“I think when you have less problems weighing you down then you're able to express yourself in a better way. As a human being, I was not in a comfortable place [in 2011] compared to now. You've got to be enjoying what you're doing and the people you're around. I'm 100 per cent happier in what I'm doing.
“I'm back to my old self.”
As for the future, Hamilton conceded he has weighed up the pros and cons of leaving McLaren, although he added he is happy where he is and so the decision 'may be fairly simple'.
“I've thought about a move,” he confirmed. “Who knows what's going to happen in the future? But I'm in no rush really.
“I've got a contract for the rest of the year. I'm very happy where I am so I think it may be fairly simple.”