I am mentally tougher than ever: Hamilton

Beijing, April 11 (IANS) Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has declared that he is mentally tougher than ever and is confident that his 2016 season is going to come good.

The triple world champion heads into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix trailing Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Drivers’ Championship after the German’s winning streak from the end of last year continued at the Australian and Bahrain GP.

Hamilton has beaten Rosberg to pole at both races but seen his victory chances scuppered by poor starts, which have left him sixth and seventh respectively at the end of the opening lap.

“People keep asking me if I’m worried — if there’s a downward trend emerging. But I’m feeling the complete opposite. There are no real flaws in our procedure and how we’re working, so I know it’s going to come good,” Hamilton was quoted as saying by Sky Sports on Sunday.

“On a personal level too, I’m in the best place I’ve ever been psychologically. There’s very little, if anything at all, that can penetrate that. There’s a long, long way to go, so I’ll just keep working as hard as I have been,” he said.

Hamilton’s second and third-place finishes so far in 2016 means he is 17 points behind Rosberg. But ahead of the Shanghai race he has won a record four times and finished on the podium every year since 2010.

“It’s not been a smooth start to the season for me, so to be in the championship position I’m in right now is actually pretty positive,” the Briton said.

“If you can have two bad races and still come away with two podiums, that bodes pretty well. I’ve come back from worse, that’s for sure.”

Mercedes have dominated the Chinese GP over the last four seasons, with Rosberg’s win in 2012 the first of the modern Silver Arrows era.

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