Lewis Hamilton has defended Mercedes’ dominant start to the season insisting it’s not the team’s fault it has faced no competition in the first five races.

The Brackley-based outfit’s five consecutive one-two finishes set a new record for the best-ever start to a Formula 1 campaign, leaving it comfortably ahead in both world championships.

The sport came under increasing scrutiny for its current state following an underwhelming Spanish Grand Prix, but Hamilton, who chases a sixth title in 2019, feels Mercedes’ form cannot be blamed for the shortage of on-track excitement.

“Staying focused is pretty easy but it is not as much fun as when you are competing against another team – that is was F1 is about,” Hamilton said, as quoted by Crash.net.

“When you arrive and you are competing against other teams who are bringing their A game and you have another two drivers and that puts a spanner in the mix.

“When that is not there it is definitely a lot less exciting from a competition point of view, racing within a team…it is not how F1 should be, but it is what it is right now and it has been like that in the past.

“But it is not our fault these guys are good at their jobs.”

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff backed up his drivers comments, but also synthesised with the fans frustration at the sport’s lack of unpredictability.

“We’re really trying to perform as well as we can. We pushed the benchmark and we push the needle and we try to be better as a group every single day and every single year,” said Wolff.

“This team coming together with the struggles that we had in the winter is just a super satisfaction for the team and the group and this is what my personal feeling is.

“Then on the other side if I take myself out from my Mercedes standpoint and all of the group, of course as a fan you want variability and unpredictability,” he continued.

“We all enjoyed Liverpool coming back as strong as they did and Spurs making it against all odds. I had the laptop on my knees watching the game when we saw Liverpool beating Barcelona.

“As a fan and as a spectator, I can relate to the sport needing to have a certain variability. But where we are, it can’t be an objective for us.

“I also feel that it’s bad karma if we were to really think that we are walking on water – then next weekend you’re going to get one in the face for sure.”