Cape Town - Fighting Sebastian Vettel for the World title, Lewis
Hamilton says the pressure he is feeling is the "highest" he can ever
The British racer extended his advantage in the championship
race with a victory in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix where he had to overcome not
one but both Ferraris.
Bagging his sixth race win for this season, Hamilton moved
30 points clear of Vettel.
And while that may be a 'free' race given that even if he
retires in Singapore and Vettel wins, he'll still be leading the championship,
Hamilton admits the pressure is on.
"The heat is there, the intensity is there. It's
unavoidable for everyone, for me and him [Vettel]," he told Mercedes'
"It's very difficult for people watching who are not
naturally in it to feel what we feel - the pressure is at its highest that I
can ever remember.
"That's the pressure you put on yourself because you want
"It’s the pressure of all your desires and your fears
and also of all the people that are depending on you.
"Heading into this race [the Italian Grand Prix] I was
definitely feeling less at ease.
"I'm thinking, 'I've got two Ferraris ahead of me, how
do I get past them, how do I not lose seven points, or more?'. The pressure is
"You'll never know how hard it is to prepare to be in
the mind-set I've got right now. To be consistent, to not make mistakes, to
continue to deliver, it takes everything and more.
"I don't just arrive with it, I have to work for it
every single day. Especially with the season so long, it's so easy to arrive
and not be prepared and not be in that same mental state.
"You're holding onto something, you don't even know
where it is, but it's like magic somewhere."
But while Vettel has, some would argue, shown a few cracks
under that pressure, Hamilton has largely remained calm even though Ferrari
seem to have the advantage out on track.
The 33-year-old added: "We know we have to work even
harder than they are to close the gap or to make sure we deliver results like
this more often.
"It could have easily been the other way round [at
Monza], we could have lost a lot of ground.
"There's still seven races to go and there's still
loads of points, and trust me we are not being complacent at all."