Lewis Hamilton has stressed he is taking nothing for granted in his push for a sixth Formula 1 drivers’ championship despite enjoying a 65-point lead with eight races remaining.

Despite narrowly missing out on victory in Belgium on Sunday, Hamilton was still able to extend his points advantage over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, as well as pulling a further 18 points clear of Max Verstappen after the Red Bull driver retired on the opening lap.

Speaking ahead of the race at Spa, Hamilton explained how his bumper points lead was making no difference to his approach to each weekend, believing it was still possible for a number of drivers to catch and pass him in the standings.

“You have to look at all the possibilities. Of course it’s still possible,” Hamilton said.

“It’s not a focus of mine, it’s not something I try and worry myself about. It’s possible for Valtteri to win the title. I’ve just got to focus on trying to deliver each weekend.

“It doesn’t make any difference. I know how much work I’ve got to do. If I don’t turn up this weekend or at the following one, if I don’t deliver in these next races, if I make mistakes, I could easily lose this championship.

“There are points available to turn the tables, so I just stay as focused as I have been in the past, and really just come back into the second half like each year basically.”

Hamilton explained that while he spent much of the summer break resting and recharging ahead of the second half of the season, he also paid attention to some areas of weakness from the opening 12 races – eight of which he won.

“Most of the time it was just about recharging and absorbing the good energy that was around me. I did a lot of reading, for example, and I’m in a space right now just trying to learn more,” Hamilton said.

“Otherwise I was just doing a little bit of… not dwelling on the negatives, but looking at some of the things that have gone wrong during the season, and figure out why they went wrong, and look at the races that are coming up.

“There are weaker races and stronger races, and how do you keep the weaker ones and still deliver on the weaker ones? Also we have a bit of a dialogue with the team, which we generally don’t have during the break, just trying to see what we can do to improve, whether it’s communication, whatever it may be.

“Even if it’s arriving one minute earlier at a meeting, we’re just looking at all areas.”

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