Mercedes

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

  • Standing 1st
  • Points 393

Mercedes Links

Lewis Hamilton focused on 'driving better than ever' to win his second world title

2008 title winner determined to mould W05 to his liking

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 24/02/14 8:45am

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says he will have to drive "better than I've ever driven before" in order to win this year's World Championship.

Despite being widely considered to be the fastest driver in the sport, Hamilton has just a solitary title, won in 2008, on his CV after seven seasons in F1 - a real achievement for most but a modest return for a driver of Hamilton's pace and pedigree.

2014 arguably represents Hamilton's best opportunity of adding a second World Championship to his CV, with his Mercedes team installed as the favourites to win the Constructors' Championship after consistently leading the field throughout winter testing.

Nevertheless, Hamilton is braced for what he believes will be his most difficult year yet in F1, with the complication of new energy recovery systems and V6 engines exacerbated by the cars running with less downforce and more torque. To triumph this year, a driver is likely to have to curb his natural instinct to charge flat-out - a particularly difficult mind-set to embrace for an out-and-out racer such as Hamilton.

"When I speak to the engineers it adds up to what's going to be the most challenging year in my career - it's probably the same for every driver - in terms of understanding the controls and the setup that you'll need. On the simulator, we're getting almost non-stop wheelspin- almost to fifth gear at times," Hamilton declared in an exclusive interview for the F1 Racing magazine season preview issue.

"All I'm thinking about right now is driving better than I've ever driven before."

But 'better' in 2014 may not be faster, with all the cars running with vastly reduced fuel loads and downsized power units. Nevertheless, the W05 has, at least in terms of reliability, appeared to be the first among equals throughout the winter and Hamilton is confident the car will suit his driving style more than its predecessor did.

"I didn't have confidence in the braking all last year," he told the magazine. "It was a great car but it didn't suit me one bit. So I've got to try to make this new car suit me more."

So far, so good, it seems, with Hamilton setting the fastest time of the Bahrain test within three hours of returning to driving duties on Thursday morning.

Not that the sport's new era is proving to be entirely enjoyable for the 28-year-old, however, with Hamilton revealing this week in an online Q&A that he has been dieting to fit into a W05 car that is believed to be one of the heaviest on the grid.

"I've had to lose a lot of weight so no Christmas pudding, sweets.. nothing but water and other boring stuff!" he tweeted. "I miss Aunt Jemima pancakes."

A slim-line Hamilton keeps a close eye on Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull on Day Two at Bahrain

The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.

  • Share:

Related

Bahrain testing 2014

Button targets podium finish

Button targets podium finish

Jenson Button hopes to celebrate his 250th Grand Prix with a podium finish.

The story of winter testing

Your one-stop shop for the backstory to 2014 pre-season.

Pre-season in numbers

A statistical breakdown of 12 days of running over three tests at two venues.

Related Profiles

Poll

Most Popular

Features

Lewis eyes Merc stay

Lewis eyes Merc stay

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he and Mercedes are keen to extend his contract beyond 2015.

Hamilton crashes out

Hamilton crashes out

Watch the moment when brake failure fired Lewis Hamilton into the barriers during qualifying.

Homes under the Ham

Homes under the Ham

Lewis Hamilton gives us a tour of his Mercedes home from home in the Hockenheim paddock.