Hamilton insists he is psychologically unaffected by recent results

Sport360 staff 09:21 12/04/2016
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Lewis Hamilton.

The 31-year-old Briton trails team-mate Nico Rosberg by 17 points following successive victories for the German in the opening two rounds.

Hamilton’s campaign has so far been blighted by poor starts, which resulted in him finishing second in Melbourne and then third last time out in Bahrain.

While Rosberg has enjoyed downtime with his family at his Monaco residence since the last race, Hamilton has divided his time between London, New York, and Beijing ahead of this week’s Grand Prix in Shanghai.

“People keep asking me if I’m worried – if there’s a downward trend emerging,” said Hamilton, who has failed to win a race since October’s United States Grand Prix, where he clinched his third championship triumph.

“I’m feeling the complete opposite. There are no real flaws in our procedure and how we’re working, so I know it’s going to come good.

“On a personal level, too, I’m in the best place I’ve ever been psychologically.

“There’s very little, if anything at all, that can penetrate that.”

Hamilton added: “If you can have two bad races and still come away with two podiums, that bodes pretty well.

“I’ve come back from worse, that’s for sure.”

Mercedes have already accumulated 83 points from the opening two races to open up a 50-point margin over their nearest rivals’ Ferrari.

While the famous Italian team are noticeably quicker than last season, they have suffered two retirements in as many Grands Prix with Kimi Raikkonen in Australia, and then Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain, both encountering engine problems.

Yet despite their ominous start to the new campaign, and reliability troubles for Ferrari, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists his team cannot be complacent in their quest for a third straight constructors’ crown.

“There is a long way to go and we have by no means been flawless in every area so far,” said Wolff.

“With Ferrari increasingly breathing down our necks, as we saw in Bahrain, there is zero room for error.

“Remaining energised is now more important than ever – and we all have plenty to keep us on our toes in that respect.”

On the battle between his two drivers, Wolff believes it’s too soon to the scale towards one of them.

“With just two races down and 19 to go, I wouldn’t say there is momentum on one side or the other. But what is clear – and very exciting for the team and the sport – is that we have two drivers high in confidence who will provide us with plenty of entertainment over the coming months,” he said.

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