Despite opening out a ten-point lead over reigning double Formula One world champion team-mate Fernando Alonso on the back of a second successive grand prix win, Lewis Hamilton has attempted to dampen speculation that he might be headed for a title of his own.

The British rookie has enjoyed a record-breaking start to his grand prix career, stretching his run of podiums to seven in as many events, and taking a firm enough grip on the points table to ensure that he will arrive at his home event, at Silverstone in two races' time, with at least a share of top spot - even if he fails to score at Magny-Cours next time out.

However, despite the level of hype surrounding his maiden campaign being whipped to new levels by an adoring national media, Hamilton attempted to play down suggestions that he was the natural successor to his team-mate.

"I wouldn't say my goals have changed," he told journalists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway following his USGP success, "I came to the season with an open mind, just trying to do a good job. Yes, we're seven races into the championship, I have to be smart and realise that I'm running at the front and there is a possibility of winning the championship, but I still think it's far, far too early to even think about it or get any hopes up.

"Anything can happen during the season, so I just have to try and remain consistent and try to keep on winning. [Taking] as many points from each race is good for the team and also for me, [and] I'm sure that's what me and Fernando are going to try to do."

Hamilton has spoken repeatedly of 'living the dream' since making the jump to F1 with McLaren, but admitted that he had not expected to have achieved quite as much success as he has to date.

"Coming into the season, you have to be realistic," he insisted, "This is the pinnacle of the sport. I didn't expect anything, but I hoped to do well and do a solid job and start reasonably well, build upon it and keep learning on a steep learning curve.

"I never expected to... I hoped maybe I would get a podium at some point, but I've been on the podium for the last seven races. It's just insane. I find it very, very hard to come to terms with everything, so I'm not reading stuff that's going on in the papers. I'm just focusing on trying to enjoy it without any of the other stuff confusing me. But I don't think anyone expected me to do as well as I'm doing.

"I would have never thought in a million years that I would be here today, sitting [next to] these drivers and finishing, winning, both races in North America. It's a great leap in my career, in my life, and I'm extremely proud and thankful for my family and to God and to the team."

 

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