Lewis Hamilton says having a common foe in Ferrari has created a new ‘exhilarating’ dynamic within the Mercedes team following years of inter-team rivalry.

Mercedes has dominated F1 since the sport ushered in the V6 Hybrid era in 2014, with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg engaging in a fierce but notoriously tense inter-team fight for the world title in the following three years.

However, the re-emergence of Ferrari as a contender for the title this season has given the team fresh impetus to push for success, with Hamilton revealing there is a ‘different energy’ to previous campaigns when title glory was all but assured.

"It is a completely different dynamic for the team. When I go to the two different factories like I have this week the energy is so much different to the past. The team wanted to win in the past but there was a comfort buffer that was a little bit different to this year, there’s that passion that you hear and know about with Ferrari.

“I see that in our team more than ever and when you speak to everyone, you know that if I come into work early or stay that bit longer and I give that little bit more it’s going to make the difference to us being ahead or behind Ferrari.

“It’s different before, we didn’t have that. We want the whole team to win but it’s not going to make difference if I give an extra hour of my time, I just go home, whereas now we want to beat them just as they want to beat us. It’s the same for me to work in a different dynamic where there’s not a vortex within the team.

“All of our efforts have been pushing us forward. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating and everyone is enjoying it. It’s challenging but that’s how racing should be every year. I hope that it is.”

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