Lewis Hamilton “always down” for a close title fight

20-08-2019 13:38
by Bevan Youl
General
Lewis Hamilton “always down” for a close title fight

Lewis Hamilton says he is “always down” for a close challenge for the Formula 1 World Championship after storming to a 62-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas in 12 races.

The start to the current season has perhaps been one of Hamilton’s best after taking eight wins out of a possible 12 to give himself a comfortable lead at the top of the table.
 
The past couple of seasons saw Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel go wheel to wheel with the Mercedes driver, posing a threat for the first half of 2017 and 2018 as the German led the championships but that soon faded away after mistakes.
 
One of the closest battles Hamilton had of recent times was with former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in 2016, where the German beat him to the championship by two points.
 
But Hamilton insists he is “ready” for a closer challenge should it come with the likes of Red Bulls' Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc looking to cement themselves as the next generation of F1.
 
“I’m always down, I’m always ready,” the Brit said.
 
“It’s just not been the case, it’s the case every year – we’re a pretty strong team – and again we just work so well, we’ve got the best teamwork and processes.”
 
Hamilton often praises his team after a race win over the radio, thanking them for their efforts throughout the weekend from the pit garage to the staff at their factory.
 
“It goes back to the guys who are janitors at the factory to machine shop to here to the catering to the garage to the drivers,” he added.
 
“The communication and the environment – there’s no better – and that shows weekend-in and weekend-out.”

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