Lewis Hamilton believes his domination at the start of the 2019 Formula 1 world championship is an unlikely occurrence but does concede it is his strongest opening half to a campaign he’s ever produced.
The reigning Formula 1 world champion has claimed seven wins from the opening 10 rounds, along with two runner-up results and a fifth place at the Austrian Grand Prix, giving him a commanding 39-point lead in the drivers’ standings over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton feels it is his best start to a season compared to his outstanding rookie F1 campaign with McLaren in 2007, when he finished on the podium in his opening nine races, but says it is a freak statistic rather than something that can be expected to continue.
“I think my first season was pretty strong, the first nine races I was on the podium so I think that was pretty strong in my first season,” Hamilton said. “But since then I don’t recognise another season as being as strong.
“Of course having the seven wins, I think in the McLaren days the most I had in a year was five wins and over all the years here I think the most we’ve had is 10 win in a season, but never seven in the first 10.
“So it is an outlier and something we’re really proud of but we have to keep our heads down and keep pushing. Generally we do get stronger as the year goes on and I do as a driver.”
Despite his dominance, Hamilton says he won’t take anything for granted on the 2019 F1 world title fight while he still feels he has key parts to improve on with his Mercedes W10 – including an area where the British driver has often excelled during his career.
“Qualifying is still not perfect yet so I have to work on that but in general race pace has been really strong and something I am really happy with,” he said. “Bit by bit I am understanding the car more and more which I would anticipate moving forward.
“Coming here for example it is very hot and we have hot races coming up which are not so easy for us like Austria so it is going to be a challenge and that is great.
“I take the approach I’ve had all my career by taking it one race at a time. I don’t find that difficult at all and there are always things to learn from races even when we were really strong.”