Lewis Hamilton says his mentality for the 2019 Formula 1 world title fight hasn’t changed with his healthy points lead as he reveals he’s looking to beat his own previous feats rather than defend from Valtteri Bottas.

The reigning F1 world champion lines up in second place for the British Grand Prix directly behind pole-sitting Mercedes teammate Bottas for his home race at Silverstone.

Despite a 31-point lead in the drivers’ standings, Hamilton says he isn’t focusing on defending his points advantage against the Finn but is targeting his own records – something he fell short of by missing out on pole position by just 0.006s to Bottas having claimed an all-time record of six poles at the British round.

“I work closely with Valtteri so I see him as the man that he is. Obviously we are still fighting for the title and I don’t necessarily feel like he is the only one chasing,” Hamilton said. “I am still chasing, putting an imaginary individual ahead.

“For me, I try to put previous year’s performances up there. Last year I was ahead, for example, and my target is to improve on that. On days like this I am behind so he is now the guy that I am chasing.”

Despite taking pole position at Silverstone 12 months ago, an opening lap clash with Kimi Raikkonen saw him spin off and drop to the back of the pack. Having fought up to second place behind eventual winner Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton says his goal for this year’s race is clear.

“As long as you’ve always got a goal to chase then you can always make improvements and try to make the best of it. That is my approach,” he said.

If Hamilton claims a sixth British Grand Prix triumph this weekend he will take the outright record for most wins at his home race – a statistic he currently shares with Alain Prost and Jim Clark on five victories each.

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