Little more than a week after his and Nico Rosberg's fractious relationship reached a new low following their controversial clash in Austria, Lewis Hamilton says a 'strong mental attitude' allowed him to put that all aside as he swept to a dominant British Grand Prix win.
Hamilton came to Silverstone amidst controversy after he and Rosberg collided at the Red Bull Ring, prompting Mercedes to consider implementing team orders at a critical point in the title battle.
However, with Mercedes deciding against this in favour of issuing a 'final warning' and strengthening its so-called 'Rules of Engagement', Hamilton came out swinging on home soil to top each practice session, claim pole position and win comfortably without being headed.
Moving just one point shy of Rosberg after his main rival was penalised down to third for a radio communication transgression, Hamilton says a determination not to let the pre-event furore cloud him helped him towards his 'best weekend of the year'.
“I am really, really happy because it is so easy to come into this weekend with the wrong energy, whether it be nerves or if you listen to all the negativity surrounding coming in. But to come in feeling fresh and powerful, feeling strong and confident, and deliver is what I plan to do every weekend and what you hope to have. [This has been] the best week of the year, without doubt.
“From Monday and Tuesday, I had an amazing time, was relaxed and then work was good on Wednesday and then Thursday was amazing seeing the crowd here and then following that practice, long runs, everything, was just solid, solid, solid. So I would say this is definitely one of the most solid weekend's I have had.”
A fourth win in five races, though Hamilton admits it was difficult to overcome struggles early in the season as reliability issues made their presence felt, he says he never doubted his own pace.
“I feel like if I didn't have some of the problems that I have had, Shanghai for example. I feel like I would have won in Shanghai and where else? Russia for example, I had great pace there and Nico won. It would have been more wins, but I would definitely say through that rough patch I was going through in terms of reliability, that was definitely hard to handle.
“It is hard to handle when you want to win a World Championship as much as I want to win the World Championship [again]. But I really feel since that low after Barcelona, I feel like I was able to cultivate a very, very positive and a strong mental attitude and that is what I have today and that is why I have won whatever it is now out of how many races and I plan to continue.”