Lewis Hamilton is excited by the prospect of Mercedes' first "serious" car upgrades for the 2018 Formula 1 season as he looks for another boost in the title fight ahead of this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton reclaimed the lead of the F1 drivers' championship last Sunday by France with a dominant victory at Paul Ricard, pulling 14 points clear of chief rival Sebastian Vettel, who could only finish fifth after a first-corner clash with Hamilton's teammate, Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes has some updates for its W09 car to Austria ahead of this weekend's race, including an altered sidepod and rear-wing design, with Hamilton hoping they will offer a decent boost in performance to help pull clear of Ferrari and Red Bull.

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"I have not spent a lot of time talking to the guys about what the upgrades are, but I have heard it looks different. I know they have been working hard," Hamilton said.

"I hope it’s a significant difference this weekend and I hope that it helps us. I’m excited because when you bolt something to the car, we haven’t really bolted anything to the car this year. It’s one of the first real serious upgrades.

"It’s great when you get out there because you feel those couple of points straight away, in a certain corner, you feel those improvements. So I’m looking forward to experiencing it tomorrow and will try and figure out where those improvements are on the circuit."

The new chassis parts come as the latest boost for Mercedes following the introduction of its 'Phase 2.1' power unit update at the last race in France, which aided Hamilton in his charge to victory.

With fine margins separating the top three teams so far this season, Hamilton stressed just how decisive the fine margins could be with new parts to aid the car's performance.

"The development race is always tight and I think up until now, we haven’t had a lot of development parts on the car. I’m aware the guys are working harder and harder to ensure we bring quality rather than quantity so it’s great to see some new bits this weekend," Hamilton said.

"I know how hard everyone is working back at the factory to make sure we bring the good stuff. It will undoubtedly help us in our battle to fight the other guys."

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