Hamilton feeling more confident

Andover Advertiser: Lewis Hamilton won in Malaysia last weekend Lewis Hamilton won in Malaysia last weekend

Lewis Hamilton believes he is far better equipped to deal with this year's Formula One world title challenge than in previous seasons.

Hamilton stoked up the fires of his latest championship charge with a stirring lights-to-flag victory in Malaysia on Sunday, spearheading Mercedes' first one-two for 59 years.

The 29-year-old enjoyed a faultless weekend at the circuit in Sepang to banish memories of the season-opener in Australia which was hit by technical issues, which included the Brit retiring after just two laps.

Although it is still early days in the title race, Hamilton can already sense an improvement in his feel for the car and his own mindset, allied to his growing experience and maturity.

Now in his second season with Mercedes, Hamilton said: "Last year I was very unhappy in that I was feeling uncomfortable in the car.

"Considering that, it was not such a bad result (fourth in the drivers' standings with one win) come the end of the year.

"I knew I would be more comfortable this year because I've been with the team and they know what I like and I've had time to get things right, get the feeling right. It's given me confidence.

"On Sunday (in Malaysia) the car was fantastic. I feel like I got every bit I needed from it.

"As for me personally, I've nothing on my mind, nothing I'm thinking about other than the championship, about winning.

"I'm living and breathing it - as I do every year - but for some reason this year there is more capacity.

"I'm also more mature. I'm getting older, so all the experiences I've compiled are adding up and I'm starting to see the benefits of the mistakes of things I've said or done."

Although Hamilton finished a comfortable 17 seconds clear of team-mate Nico Rosberg on Sunday, he concedes the German's own performances are a source of motivation.

Ahead of this weekend's third round in the championship, Hamilton added: "It (the gap to Rosberg) was massive.

"I don't remember the last time in my career I had a gap like that, particularly to my team-mate in the same car.

"That is definitely a good feeling, but he is still leading the championship after scoring seriously good points, so by no means it is easy. I know I've a lot of work to do.

"Nico is very quick. He won the first race, is always there, so naturally we are pushing each other, but I feel this year I'm pushing myself that bit extra.

"I'm ekeing out more than I've been able to eke out, so I'm happy with that."

Yet Hamilton feels he has far from peaked this year as he said: "There are still things I can improve on.

"I've made notes and I'll see how I can improve again for the next race. There is more to come."

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