Formula One: Hamilton does not feel 'untouchable' despite cruising to pole

An excellent day for Mercedes in Le Castellet saw it lock out the front row, but Lewis Hamilton is taking nothing for granted.

Published : Jun 22, 2019 22:39 IST

Lewis Hamilton insisted he does not feel "untouchable" despite continuing his stunning start to the 2019 season with pole position at the French Grand Prix.

On a circuit well suited to the Mercedes car, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas locked out the front row to continue their dominance from throughout practice and qualifying this weekend.

READ | Hamilton takes pole position for French GP; Vettel 7th

The pole-sitter has already won five of the seven races this year, with Bottas claiming the other two, and looks well placed to extend his 29-point lead in the drivers' championship.

But Hamilton - who was 0.286seconds clear of Bottas - was taking nothing for granted ahead of Sunday's race, and explained the pace of his Mercedes team-mate means he is always on edge.

"I definitely don't feel untouchable, I never have felt that way," Hamilton told reporters after qualifying on Saturday.

"I do feel strong but each weekend I come in and feel that I'm starting on the right foot, and Valtteri goes and puts in good laps every time. I'm constantly being pushed by Valtteri.

"It’s crazy because it never gets old, it never gets easier, it's always such a challenge, regardless of what position you’re battling for.

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"If anything, it gets harder and harder to get these poles, Valtteri's been doing some epic laps through practice and qualifying in these first races.

"The battle within [Mercedes], if you look at a lot of the races there's been half a tenth to a tenth and a half between Valtteri and I, so I still have my work cut out. I still have to perform. I still have to deliver.

"The work ethic is exactly the same and the stress is exactly the same as if I was fighting the Ferraris."

While a dramatic and controversial race in Canada last time out saw Ferrari look like the fastest car, Hamilton acknowledged rival teams have more work to do, while sending them an ominous warning about his own form.

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"The last race was a lot closer [but] there's some races where we as a team are not being pushed as hard as we'd like to be by the others," added the Briton.

"I usually get better once I get into the season and I'm definitely getting more comfortable with the car. I don't expect that to stop."


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