Lewis Hamilton reckons that the pressure of his title battle with Sebastian Vettel is higher than anything he has ever experienced before
The pair are battling to become only the third driver to win a fifth world championship in F1 this year.
It’s Hamilton who leads the way with a 30 point advantage over Vettel following the latter’s opening lap spin, while fighting his title rival, in last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
Although the German managed to fight his way back to a fourth-place finish, Hamilton still extended his lead by another 13 points after beating Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen to the chequered flag.
Vettel and Ferrari have since come under fire for their disappointing home race.
But Hamilton believes that mistakes are inevitable given the intense nature of this year’s title battle.
“The heat is there and it is unavoidable for all of us,” Hamilton said on ESPN.
“It is very difficult for people watching who are not naturally in it to feel what we feel. The pressure is at its highest I can ever remember.
“That’s the pressure you put on yourself to success and your desires and your fears and all the people who are depending on you, which is a lot of people.”
The Englishman is refusing to get complacent for the final seven races due to the strong pace that Vettel and Ferrari have shown recently.
“I don’t really want to talk about the ifs and put anything out there just yet. I want to take it one race at a time than say, ‘If this happens or that happens.’ The pressure is so high, all I can do is try and deliver every weekend,” he said.
“All I can say is that I am definitely extracting more out of the car, but I think definitely these last three races, and those three wins, those weekends, we’ve not had the upper hand.
“We have been one or two steps behind and then finish ahead — that’s an incredibly proud feeling for everyone in the team and I am sure it is that excitement which is spurring everyone else on.
“There are still seven races to go and a lot of points and trust me, we are not being complacent at all. We know we have got to work even harder than they are to close the gap or to make sure we deliver results like this more often.”
Hamilton will be back in action next weekend for the Singapore Grand Prix.