Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes' 2018 car is harder to drive than the "diva" he occasionally struggled with last season. Although the reigning champion leads the drivers' standings after four races, he has been way below his best and was a fortunate winner of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last weekend.
Victory in Baku fell into Hamilton's lap somewhat as Sebastian Vettel's dominance was undone by an unfortunately timed safety car and a botched overtake on Valtteri Bottas, who then gave up the lead late on when he suffered a puncture.
As such, Hamilton's celebrations were sombre, despite the 33-year-old taking a four-point lead over title rival Vettel as the pair seek respective fifth world drivers' titles.
"We definitely are there in the mix and we've not got a terrible car at all, by any means. We've just got to refine it a little bit and make it a little bit easier to drive.
"She definitely isn't as easy to drive as it was last year."
Hamilton was dominant at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, although victory was snatched by Vettel under the Virtual Safety Car, and he is yet to replicate that kind of performance since.
"I struggled throughout the weekend and I'm definitely struggling to extract the car's potential," Hamilton said of his performance in Baku.
"There were a lot of faults in the race, which is rare for me. I struggled with the car, struggled with the tyres and that's something I don't take lightly, so I've definitely got to go away from here and work even harder to make sure that there's not a repeat performance-wise for myself."
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