Lewis Hamilton admits his current run of form is “not sufficient” to go on to clinch this year’s Formula 1 world championship despite securing his first win of the season at the previous round in Azerbaijan.
The four-time world champion elevated himself to the top of the drivers’ standings with his 63rd career victory, but has generally struggled to get on top of the complex W09 since Bahrain.
Hamilton qualified on pole at the season-opener in Australia by seven-tenths but rivals Ferrari and Red Bull look to have produced a more consistent package heading into the European season and the British driver recognises he has been “punching below his weight” thus far in 2018.
“If this weekend we happen to have got on top of the issues we have with the car and start to be more consistent then I can be a lot happier because I know then I can punch either at my weight or a little bit above my weight,” Hamilton said.
“At the moment I am punching below my weight, and that is not sufficient enough to win a world championship.
“We have been capitalising on circumstances like the outcome of the last race, so I will take it for now but in the long term the team cannot continue to rely on that.”
Despite claiming the world championship lead, Hamilton says he takes no comfort from leading Sebastian Vettel by four points after the flyaway races.
“I have zero comfortability,” he added. “Since the last race I have not thought for one second that I am leading the world championship, it is not in my mind, it is not that it is not important to me, it is just empty at the moment.
“There is a long, long way to go. Imagine if I got excited now knowing that we still have all the problems, it doesn’t mean anything, what is important is where you are in the end of the year.”