Lewis Hamilton says he is paying no attention to the points gap that has opened up to rival Sebastian Vettel at the top of the drivers’ championship, warning Ferrari remains a serious threat to Mercedes in 2019.

Hamilton took his second straight victory on Sunday in China to move into the lead of the F1 standings for the first time this year, sitting six points clear of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton has already pulled out a 31-point advantage over Vettel, his closest rival for the championship in 2017 and 2018. The gap between the two drivers did not grow so large last year until the Singapore Grand Prix, Round 15 of the season.

However, Hamilton stressed after his victory in Shanghai that he was not focusing on the early points gap that had built up to Vettel.

“Honestly, I’ve not even looked at any of the points so I can’t tell you what numbers we have,” Hamilton said.

“It’s far too early to even look at those, but I’m grateful that we’ve had great reliability and we continue to deliver on the weekends.

“You see the key this year, as it was last year, is to delivering near-perfect weekends, weekend in, weekend out.”

After scoring its third straight one-two finish in a row, Mercedes has made the best start to an F1 season by any team since Williams in 1992, capitalising on Ferrari’s early-season struggles.

But Hamilton is still wary of the threat posed by Ferrari this year, believing the team is yet to show its full potential so far this season.

“I think the others, they have a good car, the Ferraris. I think they’re just not extracting it,” Hamilton said.

“It doesn’t look like they’re extracting their full potential on the weekends. And then the execution doesn’t look as faultless as they have shown in the past.

“But we all have ups and downs, but that’s where we are really diligent on making sure that our processes are as accurate as can be.”


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