Lewis Hamilton says only perfection will be sufficient to win this year’s world championship with the Mercedes driver convinced his title battle with Sebastian Vettel is the toughest of his career.
Hamilton will start this afternoon’s British GP from pole position as he strives to overcome a 20-point deficit to the Ferrari driver in the standings.
“It is the most intense battle that I’ve ever experienced,” said Hamilton in an interview with Sky F1 to be broadcast in the build-up to today’s race. “It requires perfection every single day, every single weekend, more so than any other season in my entire career.”
Hamilton has attributed the intensity of the contest as a factor in his decision to miss the F1 Live event held in London last week as part of the sport’s attempts to engage with a wider and more diverse audience.
“People may disagree with my decision but ultimately I have to make the decision for myself in order to get best prepared for the British Grand Prix and the championship,” explained the Mercedes driver. “I felt personally it was important for me to relax and recover and be fresh.
“I don’t want to get to the end of the season and feel I’ve left any stone unturned. You have to just make decisions and when you make a decision, stick to it and hope you’re doing the right thing for the long term.”
Any criticism of Hamilton’s absence will, of course, be quelled by victory at Silverstone as the Englishman chases his fourth consecutive victory on home soil. On and off track, Hamilton has been in fine fettle form since his arrival at the circuit on Thursday with the 31-year-old convinced his bond with the Silverstone fans is strong enough to withstand the furore of his no-show in London.
“You could say it was a missed opportunity but I think when I base my 10 years of being in the sport and the great connectivity I have with the fans through those 10 years of the British GP and other places around the world, I also do quite a lot about promoting the sport around the world, I don’t feel like asking for one day is going to dictate the rest of my life and our relationship,” Hamilton told Sky F1’s Simon Lazenby.
“I feel the love has grown for the 10 years so I hope this weekend I can deliver and that people can see why that sometimes you have to take decisions for yourself and not worry what other people are going to think in that moment.”
Don’t miss the British GP live on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday – lights out for the race is at 1pm.