Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says he has made some “quite big strides” over the past couple of seasons which he feels have helped him up his game and made him a stronger driver.

Hamilton claimed his ninth victory from 13 races this season at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to move to the brink of a seventh world title and help Mercedes seal a record seventh consecutive constructors’ championship.

The six-time world champion has dominated the 2020 campaign and believes the progress he has made both on and off track over the last few years has paid dividends.

“I definitely think these last couple of years I’ve been able to really step it up and make quite big strides, I would say, in positive areas and I think that’s come with age,” Hamilton said.

“I’m getting older now and whilst not letting my physical side drop off, I’ve been able to really… I think getting stronger which feels good. I think this year has been feeling that, being getting stronger and stronger.

“Definitely really proud of this year’s performances but I couldn’t have done it without these great people working behind me who really provide us with the solid foundation of a reliable car, a fast car, to do what we’ve done, so it’s pretty awesome.”

Hamilton heads into this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix 85 points clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas, with the 2020 drivers’ title race now an exclusive showdown between the two Mercedes drivers.

Hamilton will clinch his seventh drivers’ crown and equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record in F1’s first visit to Turkey since 2011 as long as Bottas does not outscore him by at least eight points at Istanbul.

“We, as a team, have done such a remarkable job, so I fully acknowledge that it’s a collective and we wouldn’t be able to get these one-twos if it wasn’t for these great people behind us,” the Briton added.

“I’ve got a phenomenal driver and teammate who comes in weekend in and weekend out and makes my life very very difficult.

"Being that you’ve seen the different steps that Valtteri’s taken, he’s getting stronger and stronger, he’s picking up his game, every year, it’s been a great challenge to race alongside him.”

 

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