Riding the longest winless drought of the last three seasons, 2014 to 2016, three-time and defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton is hoping Russia will be the place where his six-race losing skid ends.
He’s keen to overcome the adversity he’s faced thus far in 2016, most recently in China.
“There was plenty going through my head after China, as you’d expect,” Hamilton admitted in Mercedes AMG Petronas’ pre-race advance. “But, after all these years, experience has taught me to stay calm and keep pushing forwards when I get knocked back.
“I’ve been here before a few times now. A lot can happen over the next 18 race weekends and I have the utmost confidence in this team. But adversity is part of the journey: it brings us closer, makes us stronger and I know that together we’ll bounce back, so I’m confident of better weekends to come.”
Hamilton’s thus far been the only winner in Russia, which moves forward from its October date to May this year as part of a calendar shakeup.
“There are lots of positives to carry into the next battle,” he said. “If nothing else, I know after these first few races that I can still overtake!
“I had a great start in China too, so hopefully I can continue that and use it to my advantage to build my races from a better base. It’s Russia up next – a race that I’ve won on both occasions so far and a track that seems to suit me pretty well, so let’s see what we can do there…”
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff, has praised Hamilton’s attitude in the face of a tough start.
“Lewis would have every right to feel disheartened by his start to the season – but he is calm and confident, handling adversity like a true champion,” Wolff said in the advance.