Lewis Hamilton “couldn’t be in a better place”

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Lewis Hamilton is feeling in good shape ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, claiming that he couldn’t be better upon F1’s return to Europe.

The Briton has endured a tough season so far, being embroiled in a title fight with teammate Nico Rosberg. This appeared to spill over in Monaco, but since then, relations have improved and Hamilton is now feeling happy again.

“I’m great, excited,” he said, smiling. “Couldn’t be in a better place really. Had a good couple of weeks, and had a bit of a busy week this week, but I’m excited just to get back in the car. This is quite a relaxed weekend.”

However, he still believes that there is room for improvement at Mercedes as he looks to bounce back from a retirement at the Canadian Grand Prix. The non-score caused him to drop to 22 points behind Rosberg at the top of the drivers’ championship, but he still feels positive ahead of this weekend’s race.

“At the moment, knowing that we have a lot of races ahead of us, it’s not concerning me too much,” Hamilton said when asked about the DNF in Montreal. “Of course, if it was later on in the season and we were where we were, we would be a little bit different.

“In one sense, it’s comforting for me to know that I feel like I’ve done my optimum up until now, but there’s still room for improvement. And as a team, also, it’s in some ways positive for us to know that we can still improve.

“If we were perfect, then it wouldn’t be fun for the rest of the year.”

Hamilton is chasing his fifth win of the season in Austria this weekend, but only his first since the Spanish Grand Prix over a month ago.

Like all but four of the drivers in Canada, Hamilton has not raced in F1 at the Red Bull Ring before, but that should matter little in his fight for the race win on Sunday afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton comes home to Mercedes factory after fourth title

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On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.

And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.

Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home ofΒ Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.

The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.

“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.

“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.

“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”

A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.