Hamilton in great shape for title tilt

Lewis Hamilton believes he has never been in better shape heading into the second half of a Formula One season.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton's confidence was given an obvious boost with his unexpected maiden victory with Mercedes in Hungary prior to the sport's four-week long summer break, thrusting him back into title contention.

During the hiatus Hamilton shunned a regular holiday in favour of an intensive training programme to ensure he kept mind and body in peak condition.

Crucially for Hamilton, he now finds himself in a good place mentally with Mercedes, as opposed to exactly a year ago with McLaren when his future was the subject of intense speculation.

"Last year I tried not to let all the questions affect me," reflected Hamilton ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

"But when you are faced with such questions, and also I didn't know where I was going, it was a constant strain. It took away energy.

"I don't have that now, which is a great feeling. Compared to last year, it is a night and day difference. I feel I am able to focus more.

"I am settled in my new team, happy, and confident in my car. I won the last race and am confident we can win some more before the end of the season, plus I am feeling fit."

Hamilton is convinced the additional fitness regime over the past few weeks has made a considerable difference to his demeanour.

"I trained a lot over the break, which is something I am not used to," added Hamilton.

"In the previous six years I'd taken a bit of a holiday and trained maybe twice a week.

"This summer I trained six times a week trying to get myself centred. I wanted to keep myself busy and try something new.

"I did not lie on a beach getting a sun tan, nor do any partying, and I feel as though it was really productive.

"I feel healthy, the batteries are full, and I have come here feeling more motivated than ever.

"As far as I can remember this is the best I have felt going into the second half of a season, which I hope translates into good results."

Hamilton goes into the last nine races trailing Sebastian Vettel by 48 points, and seemingly with a realistic shot of pushing the German in the battle for the title.

The 28-year-old, however, is remaining grounded with regard to his win in Hungary, although naturally hopes it is the start of something positive.

"It is the same every year - you have one win and people get excited; you have a bad race and negative things are said," added Hamilton.

"We at least know we have a quick car and it has not suddenly got slower over the break, so we can fight here.

"Although there is a long way to go, generally my second half to a season has been stronger, and I hope that is the case again this year."



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