‘We are not going to get ahead of ourselves’: Lewis Hamilton refusing to get carried away despite moving top of drivers’ championship standings
- Lewis Hamilton will not get carried away despite topping the driver standings
- Victory at the Chinese Grand Prix was his second race win of the 2019 season
- Hamilton is top of the drivers’ championship table for the first time this year
Lewis Hamilton says he is not getting carried away with his championship advantage after moving to Formula One’s summit for the first time this season.
After the opening three races in 2017 and last year, Hamilton was adrift of Vettel by seven and nine points respectively, only to claim the title on both occasions with two rounds remaining.
Lewis Hamilton is refusing to get carried away despite taking an advantage for the world title
Hamilton has won two out of three races this season as he eyes a sixth championship title
The 34-year-old is traditionally a slow-starter, so often coming alive in the second half of the year but now has back-to-back wins after finishing runner-up to Bottas in the season-opening race in Australia.
Hamilton, who celebrated his latest triumph by making the 6,500-mile journey from Shanghai to Los Angeles on Sunday evening, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as he pursues a sixth title.
‘It is far too early to look at the numbers,’ said Hamilton. ‘We are not going to get ahead of ourselves.
Victory in China saw Hamilton overtake team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the drivers’ standings
‘We will keep our heads down and keep working as we have another tight battle on our hands. There are races ahead which could suit Ferrari more, so it is still up in the air.
‘You have to operate to 100 per cent and we are close to doing that. We have really delivered and we have to continue to do so. The key this year, as it was last season, is to continue delivering near-perfect weekends. That has to be the goal.’
Mercedes became the first constructor since Nigel Mansell’s Williams team in 1992 to start the season with three one-two finishes.
They currently boast the sport’s dominant package, with Ferrari comfortably second-best in China.
The Italian team are also having to contend with an intra-team rivalry between Vettel and new team-mate Charles Leclerc.
In last two seasons, Hamilton has been behind Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari after three races
Although Leclerc protested after he was ordered out of Vettel’s way in Shanghai, team principal Mattia Binotto is adamant the battle for driver supremacy will not dominate Ferrari’s agenda at their Maranello headquarters in Italy this week.
‘The first priority will not be to handle this situation,’ he said. ‘The priority will be to focus on the performance of the car.
‘If we have the performance, this issue will be sorted. So performance is our first priority.’