Hamilton: “I’m in the best place I’ve ever been”

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Lewis Hamilton heads to this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix in the best place he has ever been psychologically despite trailing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the Formula 1 championship standings.

Hamilton started both of the first two races of the season from pole position, but poor getaways from the line caused him to drop down the order. Meanwhile he’ll have a different challenge this weekend, with a five-spot grid penalty assessed for a gearbox change.

The Briton recovered to second in Australia and third in Bahrain, meaning he arrives in China this weekend trailing Rosberg by 17 points after he claimed successive victories.

“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,” Hamilton 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!”

Hamilton said he is unconcerned about the deficit to Rosberg, saying he feels comfortable with himself and that little will change that.

“People keep asking me if I’m worried, if there’s a downward trend emerging. But I’m feeling the complete opposite,” Hamilton said.

“There are no real flaws in our procedure and how we’re working, so I know it’s going to come good. 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. Now we go to China for the next battle. It’s a track that’s been good to me over the years, with five poles and four wins, so hopefully this race can be the turning point.”

The Chinese Grand Prix is live across NBCSN and Live Extra this weekend.