Lewis Hamilton has warned his Formula 1 rivals that they have only seen 'bits of the real Lewis Hamilton' over the course of the 2008 world championship season so far, and insists that when he is on top form he is unbeatable.
The McLaren-Mercedes ace has opened up a four-point lead over closest title rival Felipe Massa, with the Brazilian's Ferrari team-mate – and reigning F1 World Champion – Kimi Raikkonen a further three markers in arrears.
That advantage could have been somewhat greater, however, but for a string of costly errors in Bahrain, Canada and France that saw Hamilton leave all three grands prix score-less.
“I look back and see that I have six podiums in ten races,” the 23-year-old reflected, speaking to British newspaper The Sun
. “I have had three bad races and I should be further in front.
“I've been hard on myself at times because I think I can do better. I feel the mistakes more this year than last year because it has been so close in the championship.”
While his faux pas
in running into the back of former team-mate Fernando Alonso in Bahrain and Raikkonen in Montreal, and picking up both a grid demotion and drive-through penalty in Magny-Cours, may have dented his challenge a little, there have been just as many – if not more – flashes of pure, unadulterated brilliance along the way too.
Hamilton's imperious victories in the last two outings at Silverstone and Hockenheim were the stuff of legend – and he underlined that there is plenty more where that came from.
“At Hockenheim I could have gone quicker had I needed to,” he pointed out. “When you know you have the car underneath you, it is the most beautiful feeling in the world.
“We have seen bits of the real Lewis Hamilton – the 100 per cent Lewis – and when I am 100 per cent no-one can touch us.”
The Stevenage-born ace now has the opportunity to become the first driver since seven-time F1 king Michael Schumacher two years ago to triumph in three successive races should he also prevail in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, and he admitted that he expected a far more consistent and concerted attack from both himself and McLaren over the crucial second half of the campaign.
“I don't feel that we have any particular weaknesses or distractions,” he stated. “I feel confident about maintaining the performance we have, but going into the final phase of the season I'm thinking more about consistency.
“I know I can win races; I know I am quick at every race. It is about avoiding potential threats, and I think the latter part of the season will be a lot cleaner from that point-of-view.”