Lewis Hamilton says he is "stronger" for the setbacks he has suffered during the first half of the 2014 season.

Having taken pole position in Australia, Hamilton retired early in the race as team-mate Nico Rosberg took victory. Four straight victories finally saw Hamilton erase the gap in the standings, but finishing second in Monaco after a controversial qualifying session followed by retirement in Montreal saw Rosberg pull away once again.

In the last two races, Hamilton has been hit with reliability issues during qualifying and lined up for the German Grand Prix in 20th place while he started in Hungary from the pit lane, but two third places ensured Rosberg only scored seven more points in total over the two races, and Hamilton said he is better for the experience.

"It's been damage limitation for me in the last couple of races and we've had some difficult weekends throughout this season," Hamilton told the official Mercedes website. "But if I'm honest, looking back at it now, I wouldn't want it any other way. Sometimes it's nice to have things easy, but I love a challenge and I love a fight. It's not the times of ease that show who you are - it's the times of adversity.

"I definitely feel like the tough breaks I've had this year have made me stronger - and hopefully I've shown that I've got heart. If ever I've had good luck this year, it was there at the last race in Budapest - keeping me from damaging my car on the wall during that first lap. Hopefully that's a sign that my fortunes are changing."

And Hamilton said he will head in to the mid-season break in a positive state of mind off the back of his two recovery drives in Germany and in Hungary.

"To have taken two podiums from two difficult weekends before the break has been really satisfying and, more than that, it allows me to smile and enjoy this time off knowing that I still have an opportunity to fight for this Championship."

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