Lewis Hamilton says he is surprised by how quickly he has managed to close up on Nico Rosberg in the Drivers' Championship, admitting “if I was to put money down, I would never have tried to predict that.”
Hamilton had been 43 points behind his Mercedes team-mate following the Spanish Grand Prix last month, but just two races on, and following back-to-back victories for the Briton in Monaco and last weekend in Canada, as well as difficult races for Rosberg, in which the German scored just 16 points, the deficit has been slashed to 9.
Asked if he has been surprised by just how quickly the situation has changed, Hamilton replied: "Absolutely. I could never have predicted that. If I was to put money down, I would never have tried to predict that.
“I thought Monaco might have been a one off; a fluke kind of thing. But the race was not a fluke, it was a great strong race and then here [in Canada], the way it unfolded.
“The start was unfortunate...we started 1-2 and finished 1-5 and I know how hard the guys in the factory work for a 1-2 so it doesn't feel great about that, considering we have had a lot of those 1-2 finishes and we both celebrate in front of the garages. But on the flip side, it is a positive in terms of points, but Nico is going to continue to push.
“I am going to continue to push the car for as long as it stays together, but the way it is going, I don't see that strength diminishing. I think we are still going to go from strength to strength. There are still things to pick up on, such as the starts. Once we get those hopefully we will get back to where we want to be.”
Despite the shift, however, Hamilton remains cautious and stressed that with 14 races to go - and a possible 350 points up for grabs – it is clear that there is still a lot of racing to be done before he can think about clinching that fourth title.
“Honestly, I am oblivious to a lot of things but the thing I am conscious of is that there is a long way to go. There has never been a doubt this year in terms of my speed, or what I can do in the car, not at all. But of course you never know what can happen next,” he added.
“There was one problem after another [at the start of the year]. I was not expecting Monaco to come around and then I had a storming race in Monaco and then I came here and got the pole. I felt strong on Friday and Saturday was still okay and then on Sunday it felt phenomenal in the car. Very, very quick. I had the speed whenever I needed it, which is such a great feeling to have in the car.”