Lewis Hamilton is wary of describing the British GP as a turning point in the season and predicts the Mercedes-Ferrari title battle will still go “right down to the wire”.
Hamilton all-but erased Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead with victory at Silverstone on a day the title leader finished seventh, with just one point now in it between the rivals with half of the 20-race season completed.
Vettel has led the standings since winning 2017’s opening race in Australia but Mercedes have now won three of the last four grands prix, with the reigning champions pulling away from Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship.
“The pendulum is constantly swinging,” Hamilton told .
“This weekend was great for us as a team. It’s great points for us in the Constructors’ Championship and going to Budapest which is the most successful race for me, apart from Montreal I think, that’s a good thing.”
The story of the title race so far
|Grand Prix||Vettel’s lead over Hamilton|
|Australian GP||7 points|
|Chinese GP||0 points|
|Bahrain GP||7 points|
|Russian GP||13 points|
|Spanish GP||6 points|
|Monaco GP||25 points|
|Canadian GP||12 points|
|Azerbaijan GP||14 points|
|Austrian GP||20 points|
|British GP||1 point|
The scale of Mercedes’ advantage over Ferrari, who introduced an upgrade engine, at Silverstone was one of the starkest between the teams so far this season.
Hamilton qualified on pole by half a second and then at times lapped one second faster than the lead Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in the race.
Although Mercedes also used fresh engines on their cars last weekend, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas insisted the W08 did not feature any significant upgrades, with the world champions having refined the car since the start of the year.
But, despite being in the ascendancy, Hamilton is not expecting Mercedes to suddenly streak away from Ferrari.
“I think it’s difficult to ever say it’s a turning point,” said Hamilton in the post-race press conference.
“I think ultimately there’s constantly turns. Obviously the pendulum swung a little bit this weekend and I think that’s only good for Formula 1, it’s only good for the fans, probably super-exciting for them to see the close battle that we’re continuing to have.
“Without a doubt we hope it stays the way that it’s swung this time but, as you know, a pendulum swings. We’re just hoping that we can be on our toes to react to whatever is thrown at us in the next races.”
Hamilton added: “We’ve got more coming hopefully in the future. It’s going to be a close race, I think. It’s going to go right down to the wire, clearly. But I’m hoping for a cleaner stint of races for Valtteri and I.”
With four Silverstone wins on spin from Hamilton following on from former team-mate Nico Rosberg’s 2013 success, Mercedes became the first team to win the British GP five years in succession.
Hamilton, who now has five career wins at his home race himself, told : “I think we own this track and I like to think I own it right now!
“I’m trying to own it every year I come and I know every year there is an expectation and it’s a must win every single season. I’ll be back next year so hopefully I’ll be able to do it again for the British fans.”